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Full text of "Old French fairy tales"

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05 

' 




THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 



IN MEMORY OF 

Henry Gutterson 1884-1954 



Rosalie saw before her eyes a tree of marvellous beauty 



orres'st 

Ittustfatec) 




Jfie ^Pcnn ^uBCisfiing Gompanvr 



. 



THE STORIES 

BLONDINE. BONNE-BICHE, AND BEAU-MINON 

BLONDINE 9 

BLONDINE LOST 15 

THE FOREST OF LILACS 23 

BLONDINE'S AWAKENING BEAU-MINON ......... 25 

BONNE-BICHE 28 

BLONDINE'S SECOND AWAKENING 33 

THE PARROT 40 

REPENTANCE 49 

THE TORTOISE 56 

THE JOURNEY AND ARRIVAL ,.. ,. . . 59 

GOOD LITTLE HENRY 

THE POOR SICK MOTHER , ,., r ., go 

THE CROW, THE COCK, AND THE FROG ........... 73 

THE HARVEST 78 

THE VINTAGE . . . 81 

THE CHASE . 84 

THE FISHING ..,.;. 89 

THE PLANT OF LIFE 94 

PRINCESS ROSETTE 
THE FARM I0 ^ 

ROSETTE AT THE COURT OF THE KING HER FATHER . . ,. . . 109 

FAMILY COUNCIL n6 

SECOND DAY OF THE FESTIVAL II9 

THIRD AND LAST DAY OF THE FESTIVAL 129 



THE LITTLE GRAY MOUSE 

THE LITTLE HOUSE J 43 

THE FAIRY DETESTABLE 150 

THE PRINCE GRACIOUS , k ., w .162 

THE TREE IN THE ROTUNDA . . . ... ..... . . .168 

THE CASKET ... ** - - *74 

OURSON 

THE LARK AND THE TOAD m. *. ? l82 

BIRTH AND INFANCY OF OURSON . . . .. r.. 189 

VlOLETTE '' ' '' ' " J 9 2 

THE DREAM < 2 4 

THE TOAD AGAIN . . . . , ...... . .210 

VIOLETTE'S SACRIFICE .... . . - ... ' .218 

THE WILD BOAR ... 223 

THE CONFLAGRATION . . . . . .,.,..... 2 3 2 

THE WELL 2 43 

THE FARM THE CASTLE THE FORGE 252 

THE SACRIFICE 2 $8 

THE COMBAT ..........-' 26 3 

THE RECOMPENSE . /, ... .. ^ -- ^ 2 7 2 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Rosalie saw before her eyes a tree of marvellous beauty Frontispiece 

PAGB 

Leger meets the wicked princess, Fourbette 1 1 

Blondine sees the castle of Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon ... 50 

They were three months passing through the forest 60 

She threw her arms around the neck of Bonne-Biche .... 35 

A large and deep river ran at the foot of the mountain .... 75 

A part of the wall crumbled with a terrible noise 82 

Henry sprang upon the Wolf's back 87 

"What are you seeking, little one?" 95 

She saw a man arrive in a laced hat and coat 105 

They walked side by side during the rest of the evening . . .127 

The fairy must give herself up to the queen and lose her power for 

eight days 138 

Rosalie never left the park which was surrounded by high walls . . 144 

The broom was on fire at once, blazed up and burned her hands . .152 

Agnella and Passerose were dashed from cloud to cloud . . .185 

"Ah, ha ! you are at last in my domain, little fool!" . . . . .211 

Violette consented willingly to pass the night in the forest . . . 229 




(T) 
onamoonnrack In 






THE STORY OF BLONDINE, BONNE-BICHE, 
AND BEAU-MINON 



BLONDINE 

THERE was once a king called Benin. He was good 
and all the world loved him; he was just and the 
wicked feared him. His wife, the Queen Dou- 
cette, was also good, and much beloved. 

This happy pair had a daughter called the Princess 
Blondine, because of her superb fair hair, and she was as 
amiable and charming as her father the king and her mother 
the queen. 

Unfortunately, the poor queen died a short time after 
the birth of Blondine and for a long time the king wept bit 
terly at his great loss. Blondine was too young to under- 



stand her mother's death : she did not weep but continued to 
laugh, to play and to sleep peacefully. The king loved her 
tenderly and she loved him more than all the world. He 
gave his little daughter the most beautiful jewels, the finest 
bonbons, and the most rare and delicious fruits. Blondine 
was very happy. 

One day it was announced to the king, that all his sub 
jects demanded that he should marry again in order to have 
a son who should reign after him. He refused at first but 
finally yielded to the pressing desires of his people and said 
to his minister Leger : 

"My dear friend, my subjects wish me to marry again 
but my heart is so sad because of the death of my cherished 
queen Doucette that I cannot undertake the task of seeking 
another wife. Go, then, my good Leger and find me a prin 
cess who will make my sweet Blondine happy. Go; I ask 
for nothing more. When you have found a perfect woman, 
you will demand her hand in marriage and conduct her to 
my court." 

Leger set off immediately, visited many courts and saw 
innumerable princesses ugly, humpbacked and wicked. 

At last he arrived at the kingdom of the monarch Turb 
ulent, who had a lovely daughter, bright, winning and appar 
ently good. Leger found her so charming, that he asked 
her hand in marriage for his king Benin, without sufficiently 
inquiring into her real character. 



10 




Leger meets the wicked princess, Fourbette 

Turbulent was enchanted at the prospect of getting rid 
of his daughter who was jealous, proud and wicked. Also, 
her presence often interfered with his excursions for pleas 
ure, with the chase and with his various entertainments at the 
palace. 

Without a moment's hesitation, he acceded to the Prime 
Minister's request, and he returned with the princess to the 
kingdom of the good king Benin. 



II 



The princess Fourbette was accompanied by four thou 
sand mules, loaded with the jewels and wardrobe of the 
charming bride. 

King Benin had been apprised of their approach by 
a courier and went forward to receive the princess Four 
bette. He found her beautiful but he noted the absence 
of the mild and attractive expression of the poor lost Dou- 
cette. 

When Fourbette's eyes fell upon Blondine her glance 
was so cruel, so wicked, that the poor child, who was now 
three years old, was greatly terrified and began to weep bit 
terly. 

"What is the matter?" said the king. "Why does my 
sweet and sensible Blondine weep like a bad little girl?" 

"Papa! dear papa!" cried Blondine, throwing herself 
into the arms of the king, "do not give me into the hands of 
this princess. I am afraid of her her eyes are cruel !" 

The king was much surprised. He turned so suddenly 
towards the princess Fourbette that she had no time to con 
trol herself and he perceived the terrible glance with which 
she regarded the little Blondine. 

Benin immediately resolved that Blondine should be 
wholly separated from the new queen and remain as before 
under the exclusive protection of the nurse who had taken 
care of her and who loved her tenderly. 

The queen thus saw Blondine rarely, and when she met 

' '.'-*''' <p; '.**'* '"'^ -4s 



12 



her by chance she could not wholly dissimulate the hatred 
she felt for her. 

About a year from that time a daughter was born to the 
queen Fourbette. She was named Brunette, because of her 
dark hair which was black as the raven's wing. 

Brunette was pretty but not so lovely as Blondine; more 
over she was as wicked as her mother. She detested Blond 
ine and played all sorts of cruel tricks upon her, bit her, 
pinched her, pulled her hair, broke her toys and tore her 
beautiful dresses. 

The good little Blondine was never in a passion with 
her sister but always tried to make excuses for her conduct. 

"Oh, papa!" she said to the king, "do not scold Bru 
nette ; she is so little ! she does not know that she grieves me 
when she breaks my toys ! It is only in play that she bites 
me, pulls my hair and pinches me." 

The good king embraced his little daughter, and was 
silent but he knew that Brunette was cruel and wicked; that 
Blondine was too gentle and good to accuse her. He loved 
Blondine, therefore, more and more from day to day and his 
heart grew cold to Brunette. 

The ambitious queen Fourbette saw all this clearly and 
hated intensely the innocent and gentle Blondine. If she 
had not feared the rage of the king she would have made 
Blondine the most wretched child in the world. 

Benin had commanded that Blondine should never be 



left alone with the queen. He was known to be just and 
good but he punished disobedience severely and the queen 
herself dared not defy his commands. 





BLONDINE LOST 

BLONDINE grew to be seven years old and Brunette 
three. 
The king had given Blondine a charming little 
carnage drawn by ostriches, and a little coachman ten years 
of age, who was the nephew of her nurse. 

The little page, who was called Gourmandinet, loved 
Blondine tenderly. He had been her playmate from her 
birth and she had shown him a thousand acts of kindness. 

But Gourmandinet had one terrible fault; he was a 
gourmand was so fond of dainties and sweet things, that 
for a paper of bonbons he would commit almost any wicked 
action. Blondine often said to him : 

"I love you dearly, Gourmandinet, but I do not love to 



see you so greedy. I entreat you to correct this villainous 
fault which will make you despised by all the world." 

Gourmandinet kissed her hand and promised to reform. 
But, alas ! he continued to steal cakes from the kitchen and 
bonbons from the store-room. Often, indeed, he was 
whipped for his disobedience and gluttony. 

The queen Fourbette heard on every hand the re 
proaches lavished upon the page and she was cunning 
enough to think that she might make use of this weakness of 
Gourmandinet and thus get rid of poor Blondine. 

The garden in which Blondine drove in her little car 
riage, drawn by ostriches and guided by her little coachman, 
Gourmandinet, was separated by a grating from an immense 
and magnificent forest, called the Forest of Lilacs because 
during the whole year these lilacs were always covered with 
superb flowers. 

No one, however, entered these woods. It was well 
known that it was enchanted ground and that if you once 
entered there you could never hope to escape. 

Gourmandinet knew the terrible secret of this forest. 
He had been severely forbidden ever to drive the carriage of 
Blondine in that direction lest by some chance Blondine 
might pass the grating and place her little feet on the en 
chanted ground. 

Many times the king Benin had sought to build a wall 
the entire length of the grating or to secure it in some way 



16 



4 4r 4* 4 4 4* 1 4* 4* 4 4* 

jjpt 4ft 4Jt ** JJK <* * *> *> 

so as to make an entrance there impossible. But the work 
men had no sooner laid the foundation than some unknown 
and invisible power raised the stones and they disappeared 
from sight. 

The queen Fourbette now sought diligently to gain the 
friendship of Gourmandinet by giving him every day some 
delicious dainties. In this way she made him so complete a 
slave to his appetite that he could not live without the jellies, 
bonbons and cakes which she gave him in such profusion. 
At last she sent for him to come to her, and said : 

" Gourmandinet, it depends entirely upon yourself 
whether you shall have a large trunk full of bonbons and de 
licious dainties or never again eat one during your life." 

"Never again eat one! Oh! madam, I should die of 
such punishment. Speak, madam, what must I do to escape 
this terrible fate?" 

"It is necessary," said the queen, looking at him fixedly, 
"that you should drive the princess Blondine near to the 
Forest of Lilacs." 

"I cannot do it, madam; the king has forbidden it." 

"Ah! you cannot do it; well, then, adieu. No more 
dainties for you. I shall command every one in the house to 
give you nothing." 

"Oh! madam," said Gourmandinet, weeping bitterly, 
"do not be so cruel. Give me some order which it is in my 
power to execute." 

* + * + * 4* * * * * 



fr l fc 4 4* 4* <fc i 4 4p 

"I can only repeat that I command you to lead the prin 
cess Blondine near to the Forest of Lilacs; that you encour 
age her to descend from the carriage, to cross the grating 
and enter the enchanted ground." 

"But, madam," replied Gourmandinet, turning very 
pale, "if the princess enters this forest she can never escape 
from it. You know the penalty of entering upon enchanted 
ground. To send ray dear princess there is to give her up 
to certain death." 

"For the third and last time," said the queen, frowning 
fearfully, "I ask if you v v ill take the princess to the forest? 
Choose ! either an immense box of bonbons which I will re 
new every month or never a^ain to taste the delicacies which 
you love." 

"But how shall I escape from the dreadful punishment 
which his majesty will inflict upon me?" 

"Do not be disquieted on that account. As soon as you 
have induced Blondine to enter the Forest of Lilacs, return 
to me. I will send you off out of danger with your bonbons, 
and I charge myself with your future fortune." 

"Oh! madam, have pity upon me. Do not compel me 
to lead my dear princess to destruction. She who has always 
been so good to me !" 

"You still hesitate, miserable coward! Of what im 
portance is the fate of Blondine to you? When you have 
obeyed my commands I will see that you enter the service of 

********** 



18 



Brunette and I declare to you solemnly that the bonbons shall 
never fail." 

Gourmandinet hesitated and reflected a few moments 
longer and, alas! at last resolved to sacrifice his good little 
mistress to his gluttony. 

The remainder of that day he still hesitated and he lay 
awake all night weeping bitter tears as he endeavored to dis 
cover some way to escape from the power of the wicked 
queen ; but the certainty of the queen's bitter revenge if he 
refused to execute her cruel orders, and the hope of rescuing 
Blondine at some future day by seeking the aid of some pow 
erful fairy, conquered his irresolution and decided him to 
obey the queen. 

In the morning at ten o'clock Blondine ordered her lit 
tle carriage and entered it for a drive, after having embraced 
the king her father and promised him to return in two hours. 

The garden was immense. Gourmandinet, on starting, 
turned the ostriches away from the Forest of Lilacs. When, 
however, they were entirely out of sight of the palace, he 
changed his course and turned towards the grating which 
separated them from the enchanted ground. He was sad 
and silent. His crime weighed upon his heart and con 
science. 

"What is the matter?" said Blondine, kindly. "You 
say nothing. Are you ill, Gourmandinet?" 

"No, my princess, I am well." 



"But how pale you are! Tell me what distresses you, 
poor boy, and I promise to do all in my power to make you 
happy." 

Blondine's kind inquiries and attentions almost softened 
the hard heart of Gourmandinet, but the remembrance of the 
bonbons promised by the wicked queen, Fourbette, soon 
chased away his good resolutions. Before he had time to re 
ply, the ostriches reached the grating of the Forest of Lilacs. 

"Oh! the beautiful lilacs!" exclaimed Blondine; "how 
fragrant how delicious! I must have a bouquet of those 
beautiful flowers for my good papa. Get down, Gourman 
dinet and bring me some of those superb branches." 

"I cannot leave my seat, princess, the ostriches might 
run away with you during my absence." 

"Do not fear," replied Blondine; "I could guide them 
myself to the palace." 

"But the king would give me a terrible scolding for hav 
ing abandoned you, princess. It is best that you go your 
self and gather your flowers." 

"That is true. I should be very sorry to get you a scold 
ing, my poor Gourmandinet." 

While saying these words she sprang lightly from the 
carriage, crossed the bars of the grating and commenced to 
gather the flowers. 

At this moment Gourmandinet shuddered and was over 
whelmed with remorse. He wished to repair his fault by 



20 



calling Blondine but although she was only ten steps from 
him, although he saw her perfectly she could not hear his 
voice, and in a short time she was lost to view in the en 
chanted forest. 

For a long time Gourmandinet wept over his crime, 
cursed his gluttony and despised the wicked queen Four- 
bette. 

At last he recalled to himself that the hour approached 
at which Blondine would be expected at the palace. He re 
turned to the stables through the back entrance and ran at 
once to the queen, who was anxiously expecting him. 

On seeing him so deadly pale and his eyes inflamed from 
the tears of awful remorse, she knew that Blondine had per 
ished. 

"Is it done?" said she. 

Gourmandinet bowed his head. He had not the 
strength to speak. 

"Come," said she, "behold your reward!" 

She pointed to a large box full of delicious bonbons of 
every variety. She commanded a valet to raise the box 
and place it upon one of the mules which had brought her 
jewelry. 

"I confide this box to Gourmandinet, in order that he 
may take it to my father," she said. "Go, boy, and return in 
a month for another." She placed in his hand at the same 
time a purse full of gold. 



21 



ifr f* <fr *fr 4* 4* 4 <tr <t* 

Gourmandinet mounted the mule in perfect silence and 
set off in full gallop. The mule was obstinate and wilful 
and soon grew restive under the weight of the box and began 
to prance and kick. He did this so effectually that he threw 
Gourmandinet and his precious box of bonbons upon the 
ground. 

Gourmandinet, who had never ridden upon a horse or 
mule, fell heavily with his head upon the stones and died 
instantly. 

Thus he did not receive from his crime the profit which 
he had hoped, for he had not even tasted of the bonbons 
which the queen had given him. 

No one regretted him. No one but the poor Blondine 
had ever loved him. 




22 




THE FOREST OF LILACS 

WHEN Blondine entered the forest she com 
menced gathering the beautiful branches of 
lilacs. She rejoiced in their profusion and 
delighted in their fragrance. 

As she made her selection, it seemed to her that those 
which were more distant were still more beautiful so she 
emptied her apron and her hat, which were both full and 
filled them again and again. 

Blondine had been thus busily occupied for about an 
hour. She began to suffer from the heat and to feel great 
fatigue. She found the branches of lilacs heavy to carry and 
thought it was time to return to the palace. She looked 
around and saw herself surrounded with lilacs. She called 
Gourmandinet but no one replied. 



"I have wandered further than I intended," said Blon- 
dine. "I will return at once, though I am very weary. 
Gourmandinet will hear me and will surely come to meet 



me." 



Blondine walked on rapidly for some time but she could 
not find the boundaries of the forest. 

Many times she called anxiously upon Gourmandinet 
but he did not respond and at last she became terribly fright 
ened. 

"What will become of me, all alone in this vast forest? 
What will my poor papa think when I do not return? And 
Gourmandinet, how will he dare go back to the palace with 
out me? He will be scolded, perhaps beaten and all this is 
my fault because I would leave my carriage to gather lilacs? 
Unfortunate girl that I am ! I shall die of hunger and thirst 
in this forest if the wolves do not eat me up this night." 

Weeping bitterly, Blondine fell on the ground at the 
foot of a large tree. She wept a long time. At last her great 
fatigue mastered her grief. She placed her little head upon 
her bundle of lilacs, and slept peacefully. 




^ \ --; '-ttiSsy 





BLONDINE'S AWAKENING BEAU-MINON 

LONDINE slept calmly all night; no ferocious beast 
came to trouble her slumbers. She did not suffer 
from the cold and awakened at a late hour in the 
morning. She rubbed her eyes, much surprised to see her 
self surrounded by trees, in place of being in her own room 
in the palace, and upon her own bed. 

She called her nurse and a soft mewing was the only re 
sponse. Astonished and almost frightened, she looked 
around and saw at her feet a superb white cat, looking gently 
upon her and continuing to mew plaintively. 

"Ah! pretty puss! how beautiful you are!" cried Blon- 
dine, placing her little hand caressingly upon the soft fur, 
white as snow. "I am so happy to see you, pretty puss, for 

$< <f <! <|* 4* *i* 4* 



you will conduct me to your home. I am indeed very hun 
gry and I have not the strength to walk much further with 
out food." 

Blondine had scarcely uttered these words, when the 
white pussy mewed again and pointed with her little paw to 
a small package lying near her, wrapped neatly in fine white 
linen. She opened the parcel and found it contained bread 
and butter which she found delicious. She gave the crumbs 
to pussy, who munched them with seeming delight. 

When they had finished their simple meal, Blondine 
leaned over towards her little companion, and said, caress 
ingly: 

"Thanks, pretty puss, for the breakfast you have given 
me. Now, can you conduct me to my papa, who is certainly 
in despair because of my absence?'* 

Pussy, whom Blondine named Beau-Minon, shook her 
head and mewed plaintively. 

"Ah! you understand me, Beau-Minon/' said Blon 
dine. "I entreat you to have pity upon me and lead me to 
some house before I perish with hunger, cold and terror in 
this vast forest!" 

Beau-Minon looked at the princess fixedly and made a 
sign with her little graceful white head which seemed to say, 
"I understand you." She rose, advanced a few steps and 
paused to see if Blondine followed her. 

"I am here, Beau-Minon; I am following you gladly," 

********** 



26 



said Blondine ; "but how can we pass through these bushy 
thickets? I see no path." 

Beau-Minon made no reply but sprang lightly into the 
thicket which opened of itself to allow Blondine and Beau- 
Minon to pass, and then closed up immediately. 

Blondine walked on for about half an hour. As she ad 
vanced, the forest became lighter, the grass was finer and the 
flowers more abundant. She saw many pretty birds singing 
melodiously and graceful squirrels, bounding along the 
branches of the trees. 

Blondine, who had no doubt that she was about to leave 
the forest and see her dear father again, was enchanted with 
all that she saw; she wished to pause and gather the lovely 
wild flowers; but Beau-Minon advanced steadily and 
mewed plaintively whenever Blondine relaxed her speed. 

In about an hour Blondine perceived an elegant castle. 
Beau-Minon led her to the gilded grating. However, Blon 
dine did not know how to enter. There was no bell and 
the gate was closed. Beau-Minon had disappeared and 
Blondine was once more alone. 





BONNE-BICHE 

BEAU-MINON had entered by a little passage, which 
seemed made expressly for him and had probably 
given notice to some one at the castle, as the gate 
opened without Blondine having called. 

She entered the court-yard but saw no one. 
The door of the castle opened of itself. Blondine en 
tered the vestibule which was of rare white marble. All the 
doors of the castle now opened like the first and the princess 
passed through a suite of beautiful rooms. 

At last, in the back part of a charming salon, furnished 
with blue and gold, she perceived a white hind, lying upon 
a bed of fine and fragrant grasses. Beau-Minon stood near 
her. The pretty hind saw Blondine, arose, and approached 
her. 

<f $ $ f !* 4* *t* 4 4* 



"You are most welcome, Blondine," said she. "My son 
Beau-Minon and I have expected you for a long time." 

At these words, Blondine was much frightened. 

"Take courage, princess; you are with friends. I 
know the king your father and I love him and I love you 
also." 

"Oh, madam," said Blondine, "if you know the king my 
father, I pray you to take me to him. My absence must 
make him very wretched." 

"My dear Blondine," said the hind, whose name was 
Bonne-Biche, sighing, "it is not in my power to conduct you 
to your father. You are in the hands of the magician of the 
Forest of Lilacs. I myself am subject to his power which is 
superior to mine but I can send soft dreams to your father, 
which will reassure him as to your fate and let him know that 
you are safe with me." 

"Oh, madam!" said Blondine, in an agony of grief, 
"shall I never again see my father whom I love so tenderly? 
My poor father!" 

"Dear Blondine, do not distress yourself as to the future. 
Wisdom and prudence are always recompensed. You will 
see your father again but not now. In the meantime be 
good and docile. Beau-Minon and 1 will do all in our 
power to make you happy." 

Blondine sighed heavily and shed a few tears. She then 
reflected that to manifest such grief was a poor recompense 



29 



for all the goodness of Bonne-Biche. She resolved, there 
fore, to control herself and to be cheerful. 

Bonne-Biche took her to see the apartment they had pre 
pared for her. The bedroom was hung with rose-colored 
silk embroidered with gold. The furniture was covered 
with white velvet worked with silks of the most brilliant 
hues. Every species of animal, bird and butterfly were rep 
resented in rare embroidery. 

Adjoining Blondine's chamber was a small study. It 
was hung with sky-blue damask, embroidered with fine pearls. 
The furniture was covered with silver moire, adorned with 
nails of turquoise. Two magnificent portraits, representing 
a young and superbly handsome woman and a strikingly at 
tractive young man, hung on the walls. Their costumes in 
dicated that they were of royal race. 

"Whose portraits are these, madam?" said Blondine to 
Bonne-Biche. 

"I am forbidden to answer that question, dear Blon 
dine. You will know later ; but this is the hour for dinner. 
Come, Blondine, I am sure you are hungry." 

Blondine was in fact almost dying of hunger. She fol 
lowed Bonne-Biche and they entered the dining-room where 
she saw a table strangely served. 

An enormous cushion of black satin was placed on the 
floor for Bonne-Biche. On the table before her was a vase 
filled with the choicest herbs, fresh and nutritious and near 



I* *t <l 4* * *** *** * * 

this vase was a golden bucket, filled with fresh and limpid 
water. 

Opposite Bonne-Biche was a little stool for Beau-Minon 
while before him was a little porringer in gold, filled with 
little fried fish and the thighs of snipes. At one side was a 
bowl of rich crystal full of fresh milk. 

Between Beau-Minon and Bonne-Biche a plate was 
placed for Blondine. Her chair was of carved ivpry cov 
ered with crimson velvet attached with nails of diamonds. 
Before her was a gold plate richly chased, filled with de 
licious soup made of a young pullet and fig-birds, her glass 
and water-bottle were of carved rock-crystal, a muffin was 
placed by her side, her fork and spoon were of gold and her 
napkin was of linen, finer than anything she had ever seen. 

The table was served by gazelles who were marvellously 
adroit. They waited, carved and even divined the wishes of 
Blondine, Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon. The dinner was 
exquisite the chicken was splendid, the game and fish most 
delicate, the pastry and bonbons superlative. Blondine was 
hungry so she ate of all and found all excellent. 

After dinner, Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon conducted 
the princess into the garden. She found there the most de 
licious fruits and lovely walks. 

After a charming walk, Blondine entered the castle with 
her new friends, much fatigued. Bonne-Biche proposed 
that she retire, to which she agreed joyfully. 



Blondine entered her chamber and found two gazelles 
waiting to attend her. They disrobed her with grace and 
adroitness, placed her in bed and seated themselves by her 
couch to watch over her. 

Blondine was soon peacefully asleep not, however, 
without having first thought of her father and wept bitterly 
over her cruel separation from him. 




?9L: r "l| 




BLONDINE'S SECOND AWAKENING 

BLONDINE slept profoundly, and on awaking she 
found herself entirely changed. Indeed, it seemed 
to her she could not be the same person. She was 
much taller, her intellect was developed, her knowledge en 
larged. She remembered a number of books she thought 
she had read during her sleep. She was sure she had been 
writing, drawing, singing and playing on the piano and 
harp. 

She looked around, however, and knew that the cham 
ber was the same to which Bonne-Biche had conducted her 
and in which she had gone to sleep. 

Agitated, disquieted, she rose and ran to the glass. She 
saw that she was much grown and she found herself charm- 



33 



ing, a hundred times more beautiful than when she retired 
the night before. Her fair ringlets fell to her feet, her com 
plexion was like the lily and the rose, her eyes celestial blue, 
her nose beautifully formed, her cheeks rosy as the morn, and 
her form was erect and graceful. In short, Blondine 
thought herself the most beautiful person she had ever seen. 

Trembling, almost frightened, she dressed herself has 
tily and ran to seek Bonne-Biche whom she found in the 
apartment where she had first seen her. 

"Bonne-Biche, Bonne-Biche!" she exclaimed, "I entreat 
you to explain to me the change which I see and feel in my 
self. Last night I went to sleep a child I awoke this morn 
ing, and found myself a young lady. Is this an illusion or 
have I indeed grown and developed thus during the night?" 

"Yes, my dear Blondine, you are fourteen years old to 
day. But you have slept peacefully seven years. My son 
Beau-Minon and I wished to spare you the weariness of all 
early studies. When you first entered the castle you knew 
nothing ; not even how to read. I put you to sleep for seven 
years, and Beau-Minon and I have passed this time in in 
structing you during your sleep. I see by the wonder ex 
pressed in your eyes, sweet princess, that you doubt all this. 
Come into your study and reassure yourself on this point." 

Blondine followed Bonne-Biche to the little room. She 
ran first to the piano, commenced playing and found that 
she played remarkably well. She then tried the harp and 



34 



She threw her arms around the neck of Bonne- Biche 



drew from it the most ravishing sounds, and she sang en- 
chantingly. 

She took her pencil and brushes and drew and painted 
with a facility which denoted a true talent. She wrote and 
found her handwriting clear and elegant. She looked at the 
countless books which were ranged round the room and 
knew that she had read them all. 

Surprised, delighted, she threw her arms around the 
neck of Bonne-Biche, embraced Beau-Minon tenderly and 
said to them : 

"Oh ! my dear true good friends, what a debt of grati 
tude do I owe you for having thus watched over my child 
hood and developed my intellect and my heart. I feel how 
much I am improved in every respect and I owe it all to 
you." 

Bonne-Biche returned her caresses and Beau-Minon 
patted her hand delicately. After the first few happy mo 
ments had passed, Blondine cast down her eyes and said tim 
idly: 

"Do not think me ungrateful, my dear good friends, 
if I wish you to add one more to the benefits you have already 
conferred upon me. Tell me something of my father. 
Does he still weep my absence? Is he happy since he lost 
me?" 

"Dear Blondine, your anxiety on this point is most nat 
ural and shall be relieved. Look in this mirror, Blondine, 



35 



and you shall see the king your father and all that has passed 
since you left the palace." 

Blondine raised her eyes to the mirror and looked into 
the apartment of her father. The king seemed much agi 
tated and was walking backwards and forwards. He ap 
peared to be expecting some one. The queen, Fourbette, 
entered and related to him that notwithstanding the remon 
strances of Gourmandinet, Blondine had herself seized the 
reins and guided the ostriches who becoming frightened 
dashed off in the direction of the Forest of Lilacs and over 
turned the carriage. Blondine was thrown over the grating 
which bounded the forest. She stated that Gourmandinet 
had become insane from terror and grief and she had sent him 
home to his parents. The king was in wild despair at this 
news. He ran to the Forest of Lilacs and he had to be with 
held by force from throwing himself across the boundary in 
order to search for his cherished Blondine. They carried 
him to the palace where he yielded to the most frightful sor 
row and despair, calling unceasingly upon his dear Blon 
dine, his beloved child. At last, overcome by grief, he slept 
and saw in a dream Blondine in the castle of Bonne-Biche 
and Beau-Minon. . Bonne-Biche gave him the sweet assur 
ance that Blondine should one day be restored to him and 
that her childhood should be calm and happy. 

The mirror now became misty and everything disap 
peared, then again clear as crystal and Blondine saw her 



, K < .'* v-i, v2? el e& c '*^ ^ *i* ^* 

Jf. &. 9. -V* 3* fl* V 4> * i 

father a second time. He had become old, his hair was 
white as snow and his countenance was sad. He held in his 
hand a little portrait of Blondine, his tears fell upon it and 
he pressed it often to his lips. The king was alone. Blon 
dine saw neither the queen nor Brunette. 

Poor Blondine wept bitterly. 

"Alas!" said she, "why is my dear father alone? 
Where is the queen? Where is Brunette?" 

"The queen," said Bonne-Biche, "showed so little grief 
at your death, my princess, that your father's heart was filled 
with hatred and suspicion towards her and he sent her back 
to the king Turbulent, her father, who confined her in a 
tower, where she soon died of rage and anger. All the 
world supposed you to be dead. As to your sister Brunette, 
she became so wicked, so insupportable, that the king has 
tened to give her in marriage last year to the prince Violent, 
who charged himself with the duty of reforming the charac 
ter of the cruel and envious princess Brunette. The prince 
was stern and harsh. Brunette saw that her wicked heart 
prevented her from being happy and she commenced trying 
to correct her faults. You will see her again some day, dear 
Blondine and your example may complete her reformation." 

Blondine thanked Bonne-Biche tenderly for all these de 
tails. Her heart prompted her to ask, "But when shall I see 
my father and sister?" But she feared to appear ungrateful 
and too anxious to leave the castle of her good friends. She 

Jr 4> <|> < 4 < *i* 4* ^fr 



37 



resolved then to await another more suitable opportunity 
to ask this question. 

The days passed away quietly and pleasantly. Blon- 
dine was much occupied, but was sometimes melancholy. 
She had no one to talk with but Bonne-Biche and she was 
only with her during the hours of lessons and repasts. Beau- 
Minon could not converse and could only make himself un 
derstood by signs. The gazelles served Blondine with zeal 
and intelligence but they had not the gift of speech. 

Blondine walked every day, always accompanied by 
Beau-Minon, who pointed out to her the most lovely and se 
questered paths and the rarest and richest flowers. 

Bonne-Biche had made Blondine promise solemnly 
never to leave the enclosure of the park and never to enter 
the forest. Many times Blondine had asked Bonne-Biche 
the reason of this prohibition. Sighing profoundly, she 
had replied : 

"Ah, Blondine ! do not seek to penetrate the forest. It is 
a fatal spot. May you never enter there." 

Sometimes Blondine mounted a pavilion which was 
built on an eminence near the boundary of the forest. She 
looked admiringly and longingly at the magnificent trees, 
the lovely and fragrant flowers, the thousand graceful birds 
flying and singing and seeming to call her name. 

"Alas!" said she, "why will not Bonne-Biche allow me 
to walk in this beautiful forest? What possible danger can 



I encounter in that lovely place and under her protection?" 
Whenever she was lost in these reflections, Beau-Minon, 
who seemed to comprehend what was passing in her heart, 
mewed plaintively, pulled her robe and tried to draw her 
from the pavilion. 

Blondine smiled sweetly, followed her gentle compan 
ion and recommenced her walk in the solitary park. 




39 




THE PARROT 

SIX months had passed since Blondine awaked from 
her seven years' sleep. It seemed to the little princess 
a long time. The remembrance of her dear father 
often saddened her heart. 

Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon seemed to divine her 
thoughts. Beau-Minon mewed plaintively, and Bonne- 
Biche heaved the most profound sighs. Blondine spoke but 
rarely of that which occupied her thoughts continually. 
She feared to offend Bonne-Biche, who had said to her three 
or four times: 

"Dear Blondine, be patient. You will see your father 
when you are fifteen, if you continue wise and good. Trust 
me, dear child; do not trouble yourself about the future and 
above all do not seek to leave us." 



40 



One morning Blondine was alone and very sad. She 
was musing upon her singular and monotonous existence. 
Suddenly she was disturbed in her reverie by three soft little 
strokes upon her window. Raising her head, she perceived 
a parrot with beautiful green plumage and throat and breast 
of bright orange. 

Surprised at the appearance of a bird entirely unknown 
to her, she opened the window and invited the parrot to enter. 

What was her amazement when the bird said to her, in a 
fine sharp voice : 

"Good day, Blondine! I know that you sometimes 
have a very tedious time of it, because you have no one to talk 
to. I have taken pity upon you and come to have a chat with 
you. But I pray you do not mention that you have seen me, 
for Bonne-Biche would cut my throat if she knew it." 

"Why so, beautiful Parrot? Bonne-Biche is good; she 
injures no one and only hates the wicked." 

"Blondine, listen! If you do not promise to conceal 
my visit from Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon, I will fly away 
at once and never return." 

"Since you wish it so much, beautiful Parrot, I will 
promise silence. Let us chat a little. It is a long time since 
I have had an opportunity to converse. You seem to me 
gay and witty. I do not doubt that you will amuse me 
much." 

Blondine listened with delight to the lively talk of the 



Parrot, who complimented extravagantly her beauty, her wit 
and her talents. 

Blondine was enchanted. In about an hour the Parrot 
flew away, promising to return the next day. In short, he 
returned every day and continued to compliment and amuse 
her. 

One morning he struck upon the window and said: 

"Blondine! Blondine! open the window, quickly! I 
bring you news of your father. But above all make no noise 
unless you want my throat cut." 

Blondine was overwhelmed with joy. She opened the 
window with alacrity and said : "Is it true, my beautiful Par 
rot, that you bring me news of my dear father? Speak 
quickly ! What is he doing and how is he?" 

"Your father is well, Blondine, but he weeps your loss 
always. I have promised him to employ all my power to de 
liver you from your prison but I can do nothing without your 



assistance." 



"My prison !" said Blondine. "But you are ignorant of 
all the goodness which Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon have 
shown me, of the pains they have lavished upon my educa 
tion, of all their tenderness and forbearance. They will be 
enchanted to find a way of restoring me to my father. Come 
with me, beautiful Parrot and I will present you to Bonne- 
Biche. Come, I entreat you." 

"Ah! Blondine," said the sharp voice of the Parrot, "it 



42 



is you, Princess, who do not know Bonne-Biche and Beau- 
Minon. They detest me because I have sometimes suc 
ceeded in rescuing their victims from them. You will never 
see your father again, Blondine, you will never leave this 
forest, unless you yourself shall break the charm which holds 
you here." 

"What charm?" said Blondine. "I know of no charm 
and what interest have Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon in 
keeping me a prisoner?" 

"Is it not to their interest to enliven their solitude, 
Blondine? There is a talisman which can procure your 
release. It is a simple Rose, which, gathered by yourself, 
will deliver you from your exile and restore you to the arms 
of your fond father." 

"But there is not a single Rose in the garden. How 
then can I gather one?" 

"I will explain this to you another day, Blondine. Now 
I can tell you no more, as I hear Bonne-Biche coming. But 
to convince you of the virtues of the Rose, entreat Bonne- 
Biche to give you one and see what she will say. To-morrow 
to-morrow, Blondine!" 

The Parrot flew away, well content to have scattered 
in Blondine's heart the first seeds of discontent and ingrati 
tude. 

The Parrot had scarcely disappeared when Bonne- 
Biche entered. She appeared greatly agitated. 



43 



"With whom have you been talking, Blondine?" look 
ing suspiciously towards the open window. 

"With no one, madam," said the princess. 

"I am certain I heard voices in conversation." 

"I must have been speaking to myself." 

Bonne-Biche made no reply. She was very sad and 
tears fell from her eyes. 

Blondine was also engaged in thought. The cun 
ning words of the Parrot made her look upon the kind 
ness of Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon in a totally different 
light. 

In place of saying to herself that a hind which had the 
power to speak, to make wild beasts intelligent, to put an 
infant to sleep for seven years, to dedicate seven years to a 
tiresome and ignorant little girl, in short, a hind lodged and 
served like a queen, could be no ordinary criminal ; in place 
of cherishing a sentiment of gratitude for all that Bonne- 
Biche had done for her, Blondine, alas ! believed blindly in 
the Parrot, the unknown bird of whose character and ver 
acity she had no proof. She did not remember that the Par 
rot could have no possible motive for risking its life to ren 
der her a service. Blondine believed it though, implicitly, 
because of the flattery which the Parrot had lavished upon 
her. She did not even recall with gratitude the sweet and 
happy existence which Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon had 
secured to her. She resolved to follow implicitly the coun- 



44 



sels of the Parrot. During the course of the day she said to 
Bonne-Biche : 

"Why, madam, do I not see among your flowers the 
most lovely and charming of all flowers the fragrant 
Rose?" 

Bonne-Biche was greatly agitated and said in a trem 
bling voice : 

"Blondine ! Blondine ! do not ask for this most perfidious 
flower, which pierces all who touch it ! Never speak to me 
of the Rose, Blondine. You cannot know what fatal danger 
this flower contains for you !" 

The expression of Bonne-Biche was so stern and severe 
that Blondine dared not question her further. 

The day passed away sadly enough. Bonne-Biche was 
unhappy and Beau-Minon very sad. 

Early in the morning, Blondine ran to her window and 
the Parrot entered the moment she opened it. 

"Well, my dear Blondine, did you notice the agitation 
of Bonne-Biche, when you mentioned the Rose? I prom 
ised you to point out the means by which you could obtain 
one of these charming flowers. Listen now to my counsel. 
You will leave this park and enter the forest. I will accom 
pany you and I will conduct you to a garden where you will 
find the most beautiful Rose in the world!" 

"But how is it possible for me to leave the park? Beau- 
Minon always accompanies me in my walks." 



45 



"Try to get rid of him," said the Parrot; "but if that is 
impossible, go in spite of him." 

"If this Rose is at a distance, will not my absence be 
perceived?" 

"It is about an hour's walk. Bonne-Biche has been 
careful to separate you as far as possible from the Rose in 
order that you might not find the means to escape from her 
power." 

"But why does she wish to hold me captive? She is 
all-powerful and could surely find pleasures more acceptable 
than educating an ignorant child." 

"All this will be explained to you in the future, Blon- 
dine, when you will be in the arms of your father. Be firm ! 
After breakfast, in some way get away from Beau-Minon 
and enter the forest. I will expect you there." 

Blondine promised, and closed the window, fearing that 
Bonne-Biche would surprise her. 

After breakfast, according to her usual custom, she 
entered the garden. Beau-Minon followed her in spite of 
some rude rebuffs which he received with plaintive mews. 
Arrived at the alley which led out of the park, Blondine 
resolved to get rid of Beau-Minon. 

"I wish to be alone," said she, sternly; "begone, Beau- 
Minon!" 

Beau-Minon pretended not to understand. Blondine 
was impatient and enraged. She forgot herself so far as to 



strike Beau-Minon with her foot. When poor Beau-Minon 
received this humiliating blow, he uttered a cry of anguish 
and fled towards the palace. Blondine trembled and was on 
the point of recalling him, when a false shame arrested her. 
She walked on rapidly to the gate, opened it not without 
trembling and entered the forest. The Parrot joined her 
without delay. 

"Courage, Blondine! in one hour you will have the 
Rose and will see your father, who weeps for you." 

At these words, Blondine recovered her resolution 
which had begun to falter. She walked on in the path indi 
cated by the Parrot, who flew before her from branch to 
branch. The forest, which had seemed so beautiful and 
attractive near the park of Bonne-Biche, became wilder 
and more entangled. Brambles and stones almost filled up 
the path, the sweet songs of the birds were no longer heard 
and the flowers had entirely disappeared. Blondine felt 
oppressed by an inexplicable restlessness. The Parrot 
pressed her eagerly to advance. 

"Quick, quick, Blondine! time flies! If Bonne-Biche 
perceives your absence you will never again see your father." 

Blondine, fatigued, almost breathless, with her arms 
torn by the briers and her shoes in shreds, now declared that 
she would go no further when the Parrot exclaimed: 

"We have arrived, Blondine. Look! that is the enclo 
sure which separates us from the Rose." 



47 



Blondine saw at a turn in the path a small enclosure, 
the gate of which was quickly opened by the Parrot. The 
soil was arid and stony but a magnificent, majestic rose-bush 
adorned with one Rose, which was more beautiful than all 
the roses of the world grew in the midst of this sterile spot. 

"Take it, Blondine!" said the parrot; "you deserve it 
you have truly earned it!" 

Blondine seized the branch eagerly and in spite of the 
thorns which pierced her fingers cruelly, she tore it from the 
bush. 

The Rose was scarcely grasped firmly in her hand, when 
she heard a burst of mocking laughter. The Flower fell 
from her grasp, crying : 

"Thanks, Blondine, for having delivered me from the 
prison in which Bonne-Biche held me captive. I am your 
evil genius ! Now you belong to me !" 

"Ha ! ha !" now exclaimed the Parrot. "Thanks, Blon 
dine ! I can now resume my form of magician. You have 
destroyed your friends for I am their mortal enemy!" 

Saying these cruel words, the Parrot and the Rose dis 
appeared, leaving Blondine alone in the forest. 





REPENTANCE 

BLONDINE was stupefied! Her conduct now ap 
peared to her in all its horror. She had shown a 
monstrous ingratitude towards the friends who had 
been so tenderly devoted to her who had dedicated seven 
years to the care of her education. Would these kind 
friends ever receive her, ever pardon her? What would be 
her fate, if they should close their doors against her? And 
then, what did those awful words of the wicked Parrot 
signify: "You have caused the destruction of your 
friends"? 

Blondine turned round and wished to retrace her steps 
to the castle of Bonne-Biche. The briers and thorns tore her 
arms and face terribly. She continued however to force her 
way bravely through the thickets and after three hours of 



49 



most painful walking she came before the castle of Bonne- 
Biche and Beau-Minon. 

Horror seized upon her, when in place of the superb 
building she saw only an appalling ruin in place of the 
magnificent trees and rare flow r ers which surrounded it, only 
briers and thorns, nettles and thistles, could be seen. 
Terrified and most desolate, she tried to force her way in the 
midst of the ruins, to seek some knowledge of her kind 




Blondine sees the castle of Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon 



* * 



friends. A large Toad issued from a pile of stones, advanced 
before her, and said : 

"What are you seeking? Have you not occasioned the 
death of your friends by the basest ingratitude? Begone! 
do not insult their memory by your unwelcome presence !" 

"Alas! alas!" cried Blondine, "my poor friends, Bonne- 
Biche and Beau-Mir on, why can I not atone by my death for 
the sufferings I have caused them?" And she fell, sobbing 
piteously, upon the stones and nettles ; her grief and her re 
pentance were so excessive that she did not feel their sharp 
points in her tender flesh. She wept profusely a long time. 
At last she arose and looked about her, hoping to find some 
shelter where she might take refuge. Ruin only stared her 
in the face ! 

"Well," said she, "let the wild beasts tear me to pieces, 
let me die of hunger and thirst, if I can expiate my sins here 
upon the tomb of Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon!" 

As she uttered these words, she heard a soft voice 
saying: "True repentance can atone for the worst of 



crimes." 



She raised her head and saw only an immense black 
Crow flying above her. 

"Alas! alas!" said Blondine, "my repentance however 
true, however bitter it may be, can never give me back the 
lives of my dear Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon !" 

"Courage, courage, Blondine! redeem your fault by 



****,****** 

your repentance and do not allow yourself to be utterly cast 
down by grief." 

The poor princess arose and left the scene of desolation. 
She followed a little path, where the large trees seemed to 
have rooted out the brambles and the earth was covered with 
moss. She was utterly exhausted with grief and fatigue and 
fell at the foot of a large tree, sobbing piteously. 

"Courage, Blondine !" said another voice ; "courage and 
hope!" 

She saw near her only a Frog, which was looking at her 
compassionately. 

"Oh, Frog!" said the princess, "you seem to pity my 
anguish! What will become of me now that I am alone 
and desolate in the world?" 

"Courage and hope !" was the reply. 

Blondine sighed deeply and looked around, hoping to 
discover some herb or fruit to appease her hunger and thirst. 
She saw nothing and her tears flowed freely. The sound of 
bells now somewhat dissipated her despairing thoughts. 
She saw a beautiful cow approaching her, gently and 
slowly. On arriving near her, the cow paused, bowed down, 
and showed her a silver porringer attached to her neck by a 
chain of beaten gold. 

Blondine was very grateful for this unexpected succor. 
She detached the porringer, milked the cow and drank the 
sweet milk with delight. The pretty, gentle cow signed to 

********** 



4 <t* 4* ** 4* 4* ** *l* 4 1 

her to replace the porringer. Blondine obeyed, kissed her 
on the neck and said, sadly : 

"Thanks, Blanchette, it is without doubt to my poor 
friends that I owe this sweet charity. Perhaps in another 
and better world they can see the repentance of their poor 
Blondine and wish to assist her in her frightful position." 

"A true repentance will obtain pardon for all faults," 
said a kind voice. 

"Ah!" exclaimed Blondine, "years of sorrow and weep 
ing for my crimes would not suffice ! I can never pardon 
myself!" 

In the mean time, night approached. Notwithstanding 
her anguish and repentance, Blondine began to reflect upon 
some means of securing herself from the ferocious wild 
beasts, whose terrible roars she already believed she heard in 
the distance. She saw some steps before her a kind of hut, 
formed by several trees growing near together and inter 
lacing their branches. Bowing her head, she entered, and 
found that by carefully connecting some branches she could 
form a pretty and secure retreat. She employed the remain 
der of the day in arranging this little room and gathered a 
quantity of moss, with which she made herself a bed and 
pillow. She concealed the entrance to this little retreat by 
some broken branches and leaves and went to rest, utterly 
worn out with regret and fatigue. 

When Blondine awoke it was broad daylight. At first 



53 



she could scarcely collect her thoughts and understand her 
position but the sad realities of her lot were soon apparent to 
her and she commenced weeping as before. 

Blondine was hungry, and she could not imagine how she 
was to secure food but soon she heard again the sound of the 
cow-bells. In a few moments, Blanchette stood near her. 
Blondine again loosened the porringer, drew the milk and 
drank till her hunger was appeased, then replaced the por 
ringer and kissed Blanchette, hoping to see her again during 
the day. Every day in the morning, at midday and in the 
evening Blanchette came to offer Blondine her frugal 
repast. 

Blondine passed the time in tears for her poor friends, 
and bitter self-reproach for her crimes. 

"By my unpardonable disobedience," she said to her 
self, "I have caused the most terrible misfortunes, which it is 
not in my power to repair. I have not only lost my good and 
true friends but I am deprived of the only means of finding 
my father, my poor father, who perhaps still expects his Blon 
dine, his most unhappy Blondine, condemned to live and die 
alone in this frightful forest where her evil genius reigns 
supreme." 

Blondine sought to amuse and employ herself in every 
possible way. Her little home was neatly arranged, and 
fresh moss and leaves composed her simple couch. She 
had tied some branches together and formed a seat and she 



54 



35 j* 5t St" "5" - 55*' "5?" ^5^ ^* 

made herself some needles and pins of the thorns and twisted 
some thread from the hemp which grew near her little hut, 
and with these implements she had mended the rents in her 
shoes. 

In this simple way Blondine lived for six months ; her 
grief was always the same and it is just to say that it was not 
her sad and solitary life which made her unhappy but sincere 
regret for her fault. She would willingly have consented to 
pass her life in the forest if she could thus have brought to 
life Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon. 




55 




THE TORTOISE 

ONE day Blondine was seated at the entrance of her 
hut, musing sadly as usual, thinking of her lost 
friends and of her father, when she saw before her 
an enormous Tortoise. 

"Blondine," said the Tortoise, "if you will place your 
self under my protection, I will conduct you out of this 
forest." 

"And why, Madam Tortoise, should I seek to leave this 
forest? Here I caused the death of my friends and here I 
wish to die." 

"Are you very certain of their death, Blondine?" 
"What do you mean? Is it possible I may be deceived? 
But, no; I saw the ruins of their castle. The Parrot and the 
Toad assured me of their death. You are kind and good and 



wish to console me without doubt but, alas ! I do not hope to 
see them again. If they still lived they would not have left 
me alone with the frightful despair of having caused their 
death." 

"But how do you know, Blondine, that this seeming neg 
lect is not forced upon them? They may now be subjected 
to a power greater than their own. You know, Blondine, 
that a true repentance will obtain pardon for many crimes." 

"Ah ! Madam Tortoise, if they still live, if you can give 
me news of them, if you can assure me that I need no longer 
reproach myself with their death, assure me that I shall one 
day see them again, there is no price which I will not gladly 
pay to merit this great happiness." 

"Blondine, I am not permitted to disclose to you the fate 
of your friends but if you have the courage to mount on my 
back, remain there for six months and not address a single 
question to me during the journey, I will conduct you to a 
place where all will be revealed." 

"I promise all that you ask, Madam Tortoise, provided I 
can only learn what has become of my friends." 

"Take care, Blondine! reflect well. Six months with 
out descending from my back and without asking me a single 
question! When once you have accepted the conditions, 
when we have commenced our journey, if you have not the 
courage to endure to the end, you will remain eternally in 
the power of the enchanter, Perroquet, and his sister Rose 

"$* *jj? *$* e $* e y *5* ^5* i* a* iS* 



57 



and I cannot even continue to bestow upon you the little 
assistance to which you owe your life during the last six 
months." 

"Let us go, Madam Tortoise let us be off, immediately. 
I prefer to die of hunger and fatigue rather than of grief and 
uncertainty. Your words have brought hope to my poor 
heart, and I have courage to undertake even a more difficult 
journey than that of which you speak." 

"Let it be according to your wish, Blondine. Mount 
my back. Fear neither hunger nor thirst nor cold nor sun 
shine nor any accident during our long journey. As long 
as it lasts you shall not suffer from any inconvenience." 

Blondine mounted on the back of the Tortoise. "Now, 
silence !" said she ; "and not one word till we have arrived and 
I speak to you first." 





THE JOURNEY AND ARRIVAL 

THE journey of Blondine lasted, as the Tortoise had 
said, six months. They were three months passing 
through the forest. At the end of that time she 
found herself on an arid plain which it required six weeks to 
cross. Then Blondine perceived a castle which reminded 
her of that of Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon. They were a 
full month passing through the avenue to this castle. 

Blondine burned with impatience. Would she indeed 
learn the fate of her dear friends at the palace? In spite of 
her extreme anxiety, she dared not ask a single question. If 
she could have descended from the back of the Tortoise, ten 
minutes would have sufficed for her to reach the castle. 
But, alas ! the Tortoise crept on slowly and Blondine remem- 



59 



********** 

bered that she had been forbidden to alight or to utter a word. 
She resolved, therefore, to control her impatience. The 
Tortoise seemed rather to relax than to increase her speed. 
She consumed fourteen days still in passing through this 
avenue. They seemed fourteen centuries to Blondine. She 
never, however, lost sight of the castle or of the door. The 
place seemed deserted ; she heard no noise, she saw no sign 
of life. 

At last, after twenty-four days' journey, the Tortoise 
paused, and said to Blondine: 

"Now, princess, descend. By your courage and obedi 
ence you have earned the recompense I promised. Enter 
the little door which you see before you. The first person 
you will meet will be the fairy Bienveillante and she will 
make known to you the fate of your friends." 

Blondine sprang lightly to the earth. She had been 
immovable so long she feared her limbs would be cramped 
but on the contrary she was as light and active as when she 
had lived so happily with her dear Bonne-Biche and Beau- 
Minon and ran joyously and gracefully gathering flowers 
and chasing butterflies. 

After having thanked the Tortoise most warmly she 
opened the door which had been pointed out to her and found 
herself before a young person clothed in white, who asked in 
a sweet voice, whom she desired to see? 

"I wish to see the fairy Bienveillante. Tell her, I pray 



60 



They were three months passing through the forest 



you, miss, that the princess Blondine begs earnestly to see her 
without delay." 

"Follow me, princess," replied the young girl. 

Blondine followed in great agitation. She passed 
through several beautiful rooms and met many young girls 
clothed in white, like her guide. They looked at her as if 
they recognized her and smiled graciously. 

At last Blondine arrived in a room in every respect 
resembling that of Bonne-Biche in the Forest of Lilacs. 
The remembrances which this recalled were so painful that 
she did not perceive the disappearance of her fair young 
guide. 

Blondine gazed sadly at the furniture of the room. She 
saw but one piece which had not adorned the apartment of 
Bonne-Biche in the Forest of Lilacs. This was a wardrobe 
in gold and ivory, exquisitely carved. It was closed. 
Blondine felt herself drawn towards it in an inexplicable 
manner. She was gazing at it intently, not having indeed 
the power to turn her eyes away, when a door opened and a 
young and beautiful woman, magnificently dressed, entered 
and drew near Blondine. 

"What do you wish, my child?" said she, in a sweet, 
caressing voice. 

"Oh, madam!" said Blondine, throwing herself at her 
feet, "I have been assured that you could give me news of my 
dear, kind friends, Bonne-Biche and Beau-Minon. You 



61 



know, madam, without doubt by what heedless disobedience 
I gave them up to destruction and that I wept for them a long 
time, believing them to be dead but the Tortoise, who con 
ducted me here, has given me reason to hope I may one day 
see them again. Tell me, madam, tell me if they yet live and 
if I may dare hope for the happiness of rejoining them?" 

"Blondine," replied the fairy Bienveillante, sadly, "y u 
are now about to know the fate of your friends, but no matter 
what you see or hear, do not lose courage or hope." 

Saying these words, she seized the trembling Blondine 
and conducted her in front of the wardrobe which had al 
ready so forcibly attracted her attention. 

"Blondine, here is the key to this wardrobe. Open it, 
and be brave!" 

She handed Blondine a gold key. With a trembling 
hand the princess opened the wardrobe. What was her 
anguish when she saw the skins of Bonne-Biche and Beau- 
Minon fastened to the wardrobe with diamond nails! At 
this terrible sight the unfortunate princess uttered a cry of 
horror and fell insensible at the feet of the fairy. At this 
moment the door opened and a prince, beautiful as the day, 
sprang towards Blondine, saying: 

"Oh, my mother! this is too severe a trial for my sweet 
Blondine!" 

"Alas ! my son, my heart also bleeds for her. But you 
know that this last punishment was indispensable to deliver 



62 



her for ever from the yoke of the cruel genius of the Forest 
of Lilacs." 

The fairy Bienveillante now with her wand touched 
Blondine, who was immediately restored to consciousness 
but despairing and sobbing convulsively, she exclaimed: 

"Let me die at once! My life is odious to me! No 
hope, no happiness, from this time forth for ever for poor 
Blondine! My friends! my cherished friends! I will join 
you soon in the land of shadows !" 

"Blondine ! ever dear Blondine !" said the fairy, clasping 
her in her arms, "your friends live and love you tenderly. I 
am Bonne-Biche and this is my son, Beau-Minon. The 
wicked genius of the Forest of Lilacs, taking advantage of 
the negligence of my son, obtained dominion over us and 
forced us into the forms under which you have known us. 
We could not resume our natural appearance unless you 
should pluck the Rose, which I, knowing it to be your evil 
genius, retained captive. I placed it as far as possible from 
the castle in order to withdraw it from your view. I knew 
the misfortune to which you would be exposed on delivering 
your evil genius from his prison and Heaven is my witness, 
that my son and I would willingly have remained a Hind and 
a Cat for ever in your eyes in order to spare you the cruel 
tortures to which you have been subjected. The Parrot 
gained you over, in spite of all our precautions. You know 
the rest, my dear child. But you can never know all that we 



63 



have suffered in witnessing your tears and your desolation." 

Blondine embraced the Fairy ardently and addressed a 
thousand questions to her. 

"What has become of the gazelles who waited upon us 
so gracefully?" 

"You have already seen them, dear Blondine. They 
are the young girls who accompanied you. They also were 
changed when the evil genius gained his power over us." 

"And the good white cow who brought me milk every 
day?" 

"We obtained permission from the Queen of the Fairies 
to send you this light refreshment. The encouraging words 
of the Crow came also from us." 

"You, then, madam, also sent me the Tortoise?" 

"Yes, Blondine. The Queen of the Fairies, touched by 
your repentance and your grief, deprived the Evil Genius 
of the Forest of all power over us on condition of obtaining 
from you one last proof of submission, compelling you to 
take this long and fatiguing journey and inflicting the 
terrible punishment of making you believe that my son and I 
had died from your imprudence. I implored, entreated the 
Queen of the Fairies to spare you at least this Jast anguish 
but she was inflexible." 

Blondine gazed at her lost friends, listened eagerly to 
every word and did not cease to embrace those she had feared 
were eternally separated from her by death. The remem- 



64 



brance of her dear father now presented itself. The prince 
Parfait understood her secret desire and made it known to his 
mother, the fairy Bienveillante. 

"Prepare yourself, dear Blondine, to see your father. 
Informed by me, he now expects you.'* 

At this moment, Blondine found herself in a chariot of 
gold and pearls, the fairy Bienveillante seated at her right 
hand, and the prince Parfait at her feet, regarding her kindly 
and tenderly. The chariot was drawn by four swans of daz 
zling whiteness. They flew with such rapidity, that five 
minutes brought them to the palace of King Benin. All the 
court was assembled about the king, all were expecting the 
princess Blondine. 

When the chariot appeared, the cries of joy and wel 
come were so tumultuous that the swans were confused and 
almost lost their way. Prince Parfait, who guided them, 
succeeded in arresting their attention and the chariot drew 
up at the foot of the grand stairway. King Benin sprang 
towards Blondine who, jumping lightly from the chariot, 
threw herself in her father's arms. They remained a long 
time in this position and everybody wept tears of joy. 

When King Benin had somewhat recovered himself he 
kissed, respectfully and tenderly, the hand of the good fairy 
who, after having protected and educated the princess Blon 
dine had now restored her to him. He embraced the prince 
Parfait whom he found most charming. 



^ * + # * * 4 * * * 

There were eight resplendent gala days in honor of the 
return of Blondine. At the close of this gay festival, the 
fairy Bienveillante announced her intention of returning 
home. But Prince Parfait and Blondine were so melan 
choly at the prospect of this separation that King Benin re 
solved they should never quit the place. He wedded the 
fairy and Blondine became the happy wife of Prince Parfait 
who was always for her the Beau-Minon of the Forest of 
Lilacs. 

Brunette, whose character had entirely changed, came 
often to see Blondine. Prince Violent, her husband, be 
came more amiable as Brunette became more gentle and 
they were very happy. 

As to Blondine, she had no misfortunes, no griefs. She 
had lovely daughters, who resembled her, and good and 
handsome sons, the image of their manly father, Prince Par 
fait. Everybody loved them and every one connected with 
them was happy ever after. 




66 





tttk 






GOOD LITTLE HENRY 
THE POOR SICK MOTHER 

THERE was a poor woman, a widow, who lived alone 
with her little son Henry. She loved him tenderly 
and she had good reason to do so, for no one had 
ever seen a more charming child. Although he was but 
seven years old, he kept the house while his good mother la 
bored diligently and then left home to sell her work and buy 
food for herself and her little Henry. He swept, he washed 
the floor, he cooked, he dug and cultivated the garden and 
when all this was done he seated himself to mend his clothes 
or his mother's shoes and to make stools and tables in short, 
to do everything his strength would enable him to do. 



* 



-fc 



69 



The house in which they lived belonged to them, but it 
was very lonesome. In front of their dwelling there was a 
lofty mountain so high that no one had ever ascended to its 
summit, and besides it was surrounded by a rushing torrent, 
by high walls and insurmountable precipices. 

The mother and her little boy were happy but alas ! one 
day the poor mother fell sick. They knew no doctor and 
besides they had no money to pay for one. Poor Henry 
did not know how to cure her. He brought her fresh cool 
water for he had nothing else to give her, he stayed by her 
night and day and ate his little morsel of dry bread at the 
foot of her bed. When she slept he looked at her sadly and 
wept. The sickness increased from day to day and at last 
the poor woman was almost in a dying condition. She 
could neither speak nor swallow and she no longer knew her 
little Henry, who was sobbing on his knees near her bed. 
In his despair, he cried out: 

"Fairy Bienfaisante, come to my help! Save my 
mother!" 

Henry had scarcely pronounced these words, when a 
window opened and a lady richly dressed entered and in a 
soft voice, said to him : 

"What do you wish of me, my little friend? You called 
me here I am!" 

"Madam," cried Henry, throwing himself on his knees 
and clasping his hands, "if you are the fairy Bienfaisante, 

{ * *t* *l* *i* *t* 4* *i* *t* ifr 

70 



save my poor mother who is about to die and leave me alone 
in the world." 

The good fairy looked at Henry most compassionately 
and then, without saying a word, she approached the poor 
woman, bent over her, examined her attentively, breathed 
upon her and said : 

"It is not in my power, my poor child, to cure your 
mother; her life depends upon you alone, if you have the 
courage to undertake the journey I will point out to you." 

"Speak, madam ! I entreat you to speak ! there is nothing 
I will not undertake to save the life of my dear mother." 

The fairy replied, 

"You must go and seek the plant of life, which grows on 
top of the mountain that you see from this window. When 
you have obtained this plant, press its juice into the mouth of 
your mother and she will be immediately restored to health." 

"I will start out immediately, madam. But who will 
take care of my poor mother during my absence? And, 
moreover," said he, sobbing bitterly, "she will be dead before 
my return." 

"Do not worry, my dear child. If you go to seek the 
plant of life, your mother will need nothing before your 
return; she will remain precisely in the condition in which 
you leave her. But you must dare many dangers and endure 
many things before you pluck the plant of life. Great cour 
age and great perseverance are necessary on your part." 



"I fear nothing, madam, my courage and perseverance 
shall not fail. Tell me only how I shall know this plant 
amongst all the others which cover the top of the mountain." 

"When you reach the summit, call the doctor who has 
charge of this plant, inform him that I have sent you and he 
will give you a branch of the plant of life." 

Henry kissed the good fairy's hands and thanked her 
heartily, took a sorrowful leave of his mother, covering her 
with kisses, put some bread in his pocket and set out, after 
saluting the fairy respectfully. 

The fairy smiled encouragingly at this poor child who 
so bravely resolved to ascend a mountain so dangerous that 
none of those who had attempted it had ever reached the 
summit. 




72 




THE CROW, THE COCK, AND THE FROG 

LITTLE HENRY marched resolutely to the moun 
tain which he found much more distant than it had 
appeared to him. Instead of arriving in a half 
hour as he had expected, he walked rapidly the whole day 
without reaching its base. 

About one-third of the way he saw a Crow which was 
caught by the claw in a snare which some wicked boy had 
set for him. The poor Crow sought in vain to release him 
self from this trap which caused him cruel sufferings. 
Henry ran to him, cut the cord which bound him and set 
him at liberty. The poor Crow flew off rapidly, after hav 
ing said to Henry, 

"Thanks, my brave Henry, I will see you again." 
Henry was much surprised to hear the Crow speak but 
he did not relax his speed. 



73 



Some time afterwards while he was resting in a grove 
and eating a morsel of bread, he saw a Cock followed by a 
fox and about to be taken by him in spite of his efforts to 
escape. The poor frightened Cock passed very near to 
Henry, who seized it adroitly, and hid it under his coat with 
out the fox having seen him. The fox continued his pur 
suit, supposing that the Cock was before him. Henry did 
not move till he was entirely out of sight. He then released 
the Cock, who said to him in a low voice : 

"Many thanks, my brave Henry, I will see you again." 
Henry was now rested. He rose and continued his 
journey. When he had advanced a considerable distance 
he saw a poor Frog about to be devoured by a serpent. The 
Frog trembled and, paralyzed by fear, could not move. The 
serpent advanced rapidly, its horrid mouth open. Henry 
seized a large stone and threw it so adroitly that it entered the 
serpent's throat the moment it was about to devour the Frog. 
The frightened Frog leaped to a distance and cried out, 
"Many thanks, brave Henry; we will meet again." 
Henry, who had before heard the Crow and the Cock 
speak, was not now astonished at these words of the Frog and 
continued to walk on rapidly. 

A short time after he arrived at the foot of the mountain 
but he was greatly distressed to see that a large and deep river 
ran at its foot, so wide that the other side could scarcely be 
seen. Greatly at a loss he paused to reflect. 



74 




A large and deep river ran at the foot of the mountain 

"Perhaps," said he, hopefully, "I may find a bridge, or 
ford, or a boat." 

Henry followed the course of the river which flowed 
entirely around the mountain but everywhere it was equally 
wide and deep and he saw neither bridge nor boat. Poor 
Henry seated himself on the bank of the river, weeping bit 
terly. 

"Fairy Bienfaisante ! Fairy Bienf aisante ! come to my 



75 



dk 4* $$ <(p * ^* > 

help," he exclaimed. "Of what use will it be to me to know 
that there is a plant at the top of the mountain which will 
save the life of my poor mother, if I can never reach its sum 
mit?" 

At this moment the Cock whom he had protected from 
the fox appeared on the borders of the river, and said to him : 

"The fairy Bienfaisante can do nothing for you. This 
mountain is beyond her control. But you have saved my 
life and I wish to prove my gratitude. Mount my back, 
Henry, and by the faith of a Cock I will take you safe to the 
other side." 

Henry did not hesitate. He sprang on the Cock's back, 
fully expecting to fall into the water but his clothes were not 
even moist. The Cock received him so adroitly on his back 
that he felt as secure as if he had been on horseback. He 
held on firmly to the crest of the Cock who now commenced 
the passage. 

The river was so wide that he was flying constantly 
twenty-one days before he reached the other shore ; but dur 
ing these twenty-one days Henry was not sleepy and felt 
neither hunger nor thirst. 

When they arrived, Henry thanked the Cock most po 
litely, who graciously bristled his feathers and disappeared. 
A moment after this Henry turned and to his astonishment 
the river was no longer to be seen. 

"It was without doubt the genius of the mountain who 

<< <t* <* * *i* ^ft* 'I' *i* 



wished to prevent my approach," said Henry. "But, with 
the help of the good fairy Bienfaisante, I think I shall yet suc 
ceed in my mission." 




77 




THE HARVEST 

HENRY walked a long, long time but he walked in 
vain for he saw that he was no farther from the 
foot of the mountain and no nearer to the summit 
than he had been when he crossed the river. Any other 
child would have retraced his steps but the brave little Henry 
would not allow himself to be discouraged. Notwithstand 
ing his extreme fatigue he walked on twenty-one days with 
out seeming to make any advance. At the end of this time 
he was no more discouraged than at the close of the first day. 

"If I am obliged to walk a hundred years," he said aloud, 
"I will go on till I reach the summit." 

"You have then a great desire to arrive there, little boy?" 
said an old man, looking at him maliciously and standing 
just in his path. "What are you seeking at the top of this 
mountain?" 



"The plant of life, my good sir, to save the life of my 
dear mother who is about to die." 

The little old man shook his head, rested his little 
pointed chin on the top of his gold-headed cane and after 
having a long time regarded Henry, he said : 

"Your sweet and fresh face pleases me, my boy. I am 
one of the genii of this mountain. I will allow you to ad 
vance on condition that you will gather all my wheat, that 
you will beat it out, make it into flour and then into bread. 
When you have gathered, beaten, ground and cooked it, then 
call me. You will find all the necessary implements in the 
ditch near you. The fields of wheat are before you and 
cover the mountain." 

The old man disappeared and Henry gazed in terror at 
the immense fields of wheat which were spread out before 
him. But he soon mastered this feeling of discouragement 
took off his vest, seized a scythe and commenced cutting 
the wheat diligently. This occupied him a hundred and 
ninety-five days and nights. 

When the wheat was all cut, Henry commenced to beat 
it with a flail which he found at hand. This occupied him 
sixty days. 

When the grain was all beaten out he began to grind it 
in a mill which rose up suddenly near him. This occupied 
him seventy days. 

When the wheat was all ground he began to knead it 

$ 4 4 4* 4 4 4* 4 4 4* 

ij.j+V'V'j&Jif'j&j&.Sf.Sj. 



79 



and to cook it. He kneaded and cooked for a hundred and 
twenty days. 

As the bread was cooked he arranged it properly on 
shelves, like books in a library. 

When all was finished Henry was transported with joy 
and called the genius of the mountain who appeared imme 
diately and counted four hundred and sixty-eight thousand 
three hundred and twenty-nine new loaves of bread. He bit 
and ate a little end off of two or three, drew near to Henry, 
tapped him on the cheek and said : 

"You are a good boy and I wish to pay you for your 
work." 

He drew from his pocket a little wooden box which he 
gave to Henry and said, maliciously : 

"When you return home, open this box and you will find 
in it the most delicious tobacco you have ever seen." 

Now Henry had never used tobacco and the present of 
the little genius seemed to him very useless but he was too 
polite to let this be seen and he thanked the old man as if 
satisfied. 

The old one smiled, then burst out laughing and disap 
peared. 




80 




THE VINTAGE 

HENRY began to walk rapidly and perceived with 
great delight that every step brought him nearer 
to the summit of the mountain. In three hours 
he had walked two-thirds of the way. But suddenly he 
found himself arrested by a very high wall which he had not 
perceived before. He walked around it, and found, after 
three days' diligent advance, that this wall surrounded the 
entire mountain and that there was no door, not the smallest 
opening by which he could enter. 

Henry seated himself on the ground, to reflect upon his 
situation. He resolved to wait patiently he sat there forty- 
five days. At the end of this time he said : 

"I will not go back if I have to wait here a hundred 
years." 

He had scarcely uttered these words when a part of the 



81 



wall crumbled away with a terrible noise and he saw in the 
opening a giant, brandishing an enormous cudgel. 

"You have then a great desire to pass here, my boy? 
What are you seeking beyond my wall?" 

"I am seeking the plant of life, Master Giant, to cure 
my poor mother who is dying. If it is in your power and 
you will allow me to pass this wall, I will do anything for you 
that you may command." 

"Is it so? Well, listen! Your countenance pleases 
me. I am one of the genii of this mountain. I will allow 
you to pass this wall if you will fill my wine-cellar. Here 
are all my vines. Gather the grapes, crush them, put the 
juice in the casks and arrange them well in my wine-cellar. 
You will find all the implements necessary at the foot of this 
wall. When it is done, call me." 

The Giant disappeared, closing the wall behind him. 
Henry looked around him and as far as he could see, the 
vines of the Giant were growing luxuriously. 

"Well, well," said Henry to himself, "I cut all the wheat 
of the little old man I can surely also gather the grapes of 
the big Giant. It will not take me so long and it will not be 
as difficult to make wine of these grapes as to make bread 
of the wheat." 

Henry took off his coat, picked up a pruning-knife 
which he saw at his feet and began to cut the grapes and 
throw them into the vats. It took him thirty days to gather 



A Part of the wall crumbled with a terrible noise 



this crop. When all was finished, he crushed the grapes, 
poured the juice into the casks and ranged them in the cellar, 
which they completely filled. He was ninety days making 
the wine. 

When the wine was ready and everything in the cellar 
in complete order, Henry called the Giant who immediately 
appeared, examined the casks, tasted the wine, then turned 
towards Henry and said : 

"You are a brave little man and I wish to pay you for 
your trouble. It shall not be said that you worked gratis for 
the Giant of the mountain." 

He drew a thistle from his pocket, gave it to Henry and 
said: 

"After your return home, whenever you desire any 
thing, smell this thistle." 

Henry did not think the Giant very generous but he re 
ceived the thistle with an amiable smile. 

Then the Giant whistled so loudly that the mountain 
trembled and the wall and Giant disappeared entirely and 
Henry was enabled to continue his journey. 





THE CHASE 

HENRY was within a half-hour's walk of the sum 
mit of the mountain when he reached a pit so wide 
that he could not possibly jump to the other side 
and so deep that it seemed bottomless. Henry did not lose 
courage, however. He followed the borders of the pit till 
he found himself where he started from and knew that this 
yawning pit surrounded the mountain. 

"Alas! what shall I do?" said poor Henry; "I scarcely 
overcome one obstacle when another more difficult seems to 
rise up before me. How shall I ever pass this pit?" 

The poor child felt for the first time that his eyes were 
filled with tears. He looked around for some means of pass 
ing over but saw no possible chance and seated himself sadly 
on the brink of the precipice. Suddenly he heard a terrible 
growl. He turned and saw within ten steps of him an enor 
mous Wolf gazing at him with flaming eyes. 



"What are you seeking in my kingdom?" said the Wolf, 
in a threatening voice. 

"Master Wolf, I am seeking the plant of life which 
alone can save my dear mother who is about to die. If you 
will assist me to cross this pit, I will be your devoted servant 
and will obey any command you may give me." 

"Well, my boy, if you will catch all the game which is in 
my forests, birds and beasts, and make them up into pies and 
nice roasts, by the faith of the genius of the mountain, I will 
pass you over to the other side. You will find near this tree 
all the instruments necessary to catch the game and to cook 
it. When your work is done, call me." 

Saying these words, he disappeared. 

Henry took courage. He lifted a bow and arrow 
which he saw on the ground, and began to shoot at the par 
tridges, woodcocks, pheasants and game of all kinds which 
abounded there. But, alas! he did not understand it and 
killed nothing. 

During eight days he was shooting right and left in vain 
and was at last weaned and despairing, when he saw near 
him the Crow whose life he had saved in the commencement 
of his journey. 

"You rescued me from mortal danger," said the Crow, 
"and I told you I should see you again. I have come to re 
deem my promise. If you do not fulfil your promise to the 
Wolf, he will change you into some terrible wild beast. Fol- 

<f <f *i* *$* * 4* *> * 4* Hi 1 



low me. I am going a-hunting and you have only to gather 
the game and cook it." 

Saying these words, the Crow flew above the trees of the 
forest and with his beak and his claws killed all the game to 
be found. In fact, during one hundred and fifty days he 
caught one million eight hundred and sixty thousand seven 
hundred and twenty-six animals and birds, squirrels, moor 
cocks, pheasants, and quails. As the Crow killed them, 
Henry plucked the feathers, skinned them, cut them up and 
cooked them in roasts or pies. When all was cooked he ar 
ranged them neatly and then the Crow said to him : 

"Adieu, Henry. There remains one obstacle yet to 
overcome but in that difficulty I cannot aid you. But do not 
be discouraged. The good fairies protect filial love." 

Before Henry had time to thank the Crow, he had dis 
appeared. He then called the Wolf and said to him : 

"Master Wolf, here is all the game of your forest. I 
have prepared it as you ordered and now will you assist me to 
pass this precipice?" 

The Wolf examined a pheasant, crunched a roast squir 
rel and a pie, licked his lips and said to Henry : 

"You are a brave and good boy. I will pay you for 
your trouble. It shall not be said that you have worked for 
the Wolf of the mountain without receiving your reward." 

Saying these words, he gave Henry a staff which he cut 
in the forest and said to him : 



86 




Henry sprang upon the Wolfs back 

"When you have gathered the plant of life and wish 
yourself transported to any part of the world, mount the stick 
and it will be your horse." 

Henry was on the point of throwing this useless stick 
into the woods but he wished to be polite, and receiving it 
smilingly, he thanked the Wolf cordially. 

"Get on my back, Henry/' said the Wolf. 

Henry sprang upon the Wolf's back and he made a 



87 



bound so prodigious that they landed immediately on the 
other side of the precipice. 

Henry dismounted, thanked the Wolf and walked on 
vigorously. 





THE FISHING 

AT last, after so many labors and perils, Henry saw 
the lattice of the garden in which the plant of life 
was growing and his heart bounded for joy. He 
looked always upward as he walked, and went on as rapidly 
as his strength would permit, when suddenly he fell into a 
hole. He sprang backwards, looked anxiously around him 
and saw a ditch full of water, large and long, so long indeed 
that he could not see either end. 

''Without doubt this is that last obstacle of which the 
Crow spoke to me," said Henry to himself. "Since I have 
overcome all my other difficulties with the help of the good 
fairy Bienfaisante, she will assist me to surmount this also. 
It was surely she who sent me the Cock, the Crow and the 
Old Man, the Giant and the Wolf. I will wait patiently till 
it shall please her to assist me this time." 



On saying these words, Henry began to walk along the 
ditch, hoping to find the end. He walked on steadily two 
days and found himself at the end of that time just where he 
had started. Henry would not give way to distress, he would 
not be discouraged; he seated himself on the borders of the 
ditch and said : 

"I will not move from this spot till the genius of the 
mountain allows me to pass this ditch." 

Henry had just uttered these words when an enormous 
Cat appeared before him and began to mew so horribly that 
he was almost deafened by the sound. The Cat said to him : 

"What are you doing here? Do you not know that I 
could tear you to pieces with one stroke of my claws?" 

"I do not doubt your power, Mr. Cat, but you will not 
do so when you know that I am seeking the plant of life to 
save my poor mother who is dying. If you will permit me 
to pass your ditch, I will do anything in my power to please 
you." 

"Will you?" said the Cat. "Well, then, listen; your 
countenance pleases me. If, therefore, you will catch all the 
fish in this ditch and salt and cook them, I will pass you over 
to the other side, on the faith of a Cat !" 

Henry advanced some steps and saw lines, fish-hooks, 
bait, and nets on the ground. He took a net, and hoped that 
by one vigorous haul he would take many fish and that he 
would succeed much better than with a line and hook. He 



90 



threw the net and drew it in with great caution. But alas ! 
he had caught nothing ! 

Disappointed, Henry thought he had not been adroit. 
He threw the net again and drew it very softly : still nothing ! 

Henry was patient. For ten days he tried faithfully 
without having caught a single fish. Then he gave up the 
net and tried the hook and line. He waited an hour, two 
hours; not a single fish bit at the bait! He moved from 
place to place, till he had gone entirely around the ditch. 
He tried diligently fifteen days and caught not a single fish. 
He knew not now what to do. He thought of the good 
fairy Bienfaisante, who had abandoned him at the end of his 
undertaking. He seated himself sadly and gazed intently at 
the ditch when suddenly the water began to boil and he saw 
the head of a Frog appear. 

"Henry," said the Frog, "y u saved my life I wish now 
to save yours in return. If you do not execute the orders of 
the Cat of the mountain he will eat you for his breakfast. 
You cannot catch the fish because the water is so deep and 
they take refuge at the bottom. But allow me to act for you. 
Light your fire for cooking and prepare your vessels for salt 
ing. I will bring you the fish." 

Saying these words, the Frog plunged back into the 
water. Henry saw that the waves were agitated and boil 
ing up, as if a grand contest was going on at the bottom of 
the ditch. In a moment, however, the Frog reappeared, 

$ <| 4 $ | *| |> ^ 



sprang ashore and deposited a superb salmon which he had 
caught. Henry had scarcely time to seize the salmon when 
the Frog leaped ashore with a carp. During sixty days the 
Frog continued his labors. Henry cooked the large fish 
and threw the little ones into the casks to be salted. Finally, 
at the end of two months, the Frog leaped towards Henry 
and said : 

"There is not now a single fish in the ditch. You can 
call the Cat of the mountain." 

Henry thanked the Frog heartily, who extended his wet 
foot towards him, in sign of friendship. Henry pressed it 
affectionately and gratefully and the Frog disappeared. 

It took Henry fifteen days to arrange properly all the 
large fish he had cooked and all the casks of small fish he 
had salted. He then called the Cat, who appeared immedi 
ately. 

"Mr. Cat," said Henry, "here are all your fish cooked 
and salted. Will you now keep your promise and pass me 
over to the other side?" 

The Cat examined the fish and the casks ; tasted a salted 
and a cooked fish, licked his lips, smiled and said to Henry : 

"You are a brave boy! I will recompense your forti 
tude and patience. It shall never be said that, the Cat of the 
mountain does not pay his servants." 

Saying these words, the Cat tore off one of his own claws 
and said, handing it to Henry : 



"When you are sick or feel yourself growing old, touch 
your forehead with this claw. Sickness, suffering and old 
age will disappear. This miraculous claw will have the 
same virtue for all that you love and all who love you." 

Henry thanked the Cat most warmly, took the precious 
claw and wished to try its powers immediately, as he felt pain 
fully weary. The claw had scarcely touched his brow when 
he felt as fresh and vigorous as if he had just left his bed. 

The Cat looked on smiling, and said : "Now get on my 
tail." 

Henry obeyed. He was no sooner seated on the Cat's 
tail than he saw the tail lengthen itself till it reached across 
the ditch. 




93 




THE PLANT OF LIFE 

WHEN he had saluted the Cat respectfully, 
Henry ran towards the garden of the plant of 
life, which was only a hundred steps from him. 
He trembled lest some new obstacle should retard him but he 
reached the garden lattice without any difficulty. He 
sought the gate and found it readily, as the garden was not 
large. But, alas! the garden was filled with innumerable 
plants utterly unknown to him and it was impossible 
to know how to distinguish the plant of life. Happily he 
remembered that the good fairy Bienfaisante had told him 
that when he reached the summit of the mountain he must 
call the Doctor who cultivated the garden of the fairies. He 
called him then with a loud voice. In a moment he heard 
a noise among the plants near him and saw issue from them 
a little man, no taller than a hearth brush. He had a book 
.$. !$$ $|' !.$$ > 



94 



What are you seeking little one ? ' ' 



under his arm, spectacles on his crooked little nose and wore 
the great black cloak of a doctor. 

"What are you seeking, little one?" said the Doctor; 
"and how is it possible that you have gained this summit?" 

"Doctor, I come from the fairy Bienfaisante, to ask the 
plant of life to cure my poor sick mother, who is about to 
die." 

"All those who come from the fairy Bienfaisante," said 
the little Doctor, raising his hat respectfully, "are most wel 
come. Come, my boy, I will give you the plant you seek." 

The Doctor then buried himself in the botanical garden 
where Henry had some trouble in following him, as he was 
so small as to disappear entirely among the plants. At last 
they arrived near a bush growing by itself. The Doctor 
drew a little pruning-knife from his pocket, cut a bunch and 
gave it to Henry, saying : 

"Take this and use it as the good fairy Bienfaisante di 
rected but do not allow it to leave your hands. If you lay it 
down under any circumstances it will escape from you and 
you will never recover it." 

Henry was about to thank him but the little man had dis 
appeared in the midst of his medicinal herbs, and he found 
himself alone. 

"What shall I do now in order to arrive quickly at 
home? If I encounter on my return the same obstacles 
which met me as I came up the mountain, I shall perhaps lose 

<$ 4 <| <> < *ft* *! *i* <t> *i* 



95 



* * * * * * 4* + + * 

my plant, my dear plant, which should restore my dear 
mother to life." 

Happily Henry now remembered the stick which the 
Wolf had given him. 

"Well, let us see," said he, "if this stick has really the 
power to carry me home." 

Saying this, he mounted the stick and wished himself at 
home. In the same moment he felt himself raised in the air, 
through which he passed with the rapidity of lightning and 
found himself almost instantly by his mother's bed. 

Henry sprang to his mother and embraced her tenderly. 
But she neither saw nor heard him. He lost no time, but 
pressed the plant of life upon her lips. At the same moment 
she opened her eyes, threw her arms around Henry's neck 
and exclaimed : 

"My child ! my dear Henry ! I have been very sick but 
now I feel almost well. I am hungry." 

Then, looking at him in amazement, she said: "How 
you have grown, my darling ! How is this? How can you 
have changed so in a few days?" 

Henry had indeed grown a head taller. Two years, 
seven months and six days had passed away since he left his 
home. He was now nearly ten years old. Before he had 
time to answer, the window opened and the good fairy Bien- 
faisante appeared. She embraced Henry and, approaching 
the couch of his mother, related to her all that little Henry 

* 4 + * 4- * * * * + 



e3 1. f&A c^lv -L ', ', e&s elo a& 

o; sT sr TjT )* TT ^r Tr JoT 

had done and suffered, the dangers he had dared, the fatigues 
he endured; the courage, the patience, the goodness he had 
manifested. Henry blushed on hearing himself thus praised 
by the fairy. His mother pressed him to her heart, and cov 
ered him with kisses. After the first moments of happiness 
and emotion had passed away, the fairy said : 

"Now, Henry, you can make use of the present of the 
little Old Man and the Giant of the mountain." 

Henry drew out his little box and opened it. Immedi 
ately there issued from it a crowd of little workmen, not 
larger than bees, who filled the room. They began to work 
with such promptitude that in a quarter of an hour they had 
built and furnished a beautiful house in the midst of a lovely 
garden with a thick wood on one side and a beautiful 
meadow on the other. 

"All this is yours, my brave Henry," said the fairy. 
"The Giant's thistle will obtain for you all that is necessary. 
The Wolf's staff will transport you where you wish. The 
Cat's claw will preserve your health and your youth and also 
that of your dear mother. Adieu, Henry! Be happy and 
never forget that virtue and filial love are always recom 
pensed." 

Henry threw himself on his knees before the fairy who 
gave him her hand to kiss, smiled upon him and disappeared. 

Henry's mother had a great desire to arise from her bed 
and admire her new house, her garden, her woods and her 



97 



*| ) $ 4* <fr 4* * *! 4* 4 1 

meadow. But, alas! she had no dress. During her first 
illness she had made Henry sell all that she possessed, as they 
were suffering for bread. 

"Alas! alas! my child, I cannot leave my bed. I have 
neither dresses nor shoes." 

u You shall have all those things, dear mother," ex 
claimed Henry. 

Drawing his thistle from his pocket, he smelled it while 
he wished for dresses, linen, shoes for his mother and himself 
and also for linen for the house. At the same moment the 
presses were filled with linen, his mother was dressed in a 
good and beautiful robe of merino and Henry completely 
clothed in blue cloth, with good, substantial shoes. They 
both uttered a cry of joy. His mother sprang from her bed 
to run through the house with Henry. Nothing was want 
ing. Everywhere the furniture was good and comfortable. 
The kitchen was filled with pots and kettles ; but there was 
nothing in them. 

Henry again put his thistle to his nose and desired to 
have a good dinner served up. 

A table soon appeared, with good smoking soup, a 
splendid leg of lamb, a roasted pullet and good salad. They 
took seats at the table with the appetite of those who had 
not eaten for three years. The soup was soon swallowed, 
the leg of lamb entirely eaten, then the pullet, then the salad. 

When their hunger was thus appeased, the mother, 



aided by Henry, took off the cloth, washed and arranged all 
the dishes and then put the kitchen in perfect order. They 
then made up their beds with the sheets they found in the 
presses and went happily to bed, thanking God and the good 
fairy Bienfaisante. The mother also gave grateful thanks 
for her dear son Henry. 

They lived thus most happily, they wanted nothing the 
thistle provided everything. They did not grow old or sick 
the claw cured every ill. They never used the staff, as they 
were too happy at home ever to desire to leave it. 

Henry asked of his thistle only two cows, two good 
horses and the necessaries of life for every day. He wished 
for nothing superfluous, either in clothing or food and thus 
he preserved his thistle as long as he lived. It is not known 
when they died. It is supposed that the Queen of the Fairies 
made them immortal and transported them to her palace, 
where thev still are. 




99 




101 




HISTORY OF PRINCESS ROSETTE 

THE FARM 

THERE was once a king and queen, who had three 
daughters. The two eldest were twins Orangine 
and Roussette and their parents loved them very 
dearly. They were beautiful and intelligent, but they were 
not very good. In this they resembled the king and queen. 
The third princess was called Rosette and was three years 
younger than her sisters. She was as amiable as she was 
handsome, as good as she was beautiful. 

The fairy Puissante was Rosette's godmother and this 
made her two sisters, Orangine and Roussette, very jealous. 
They were angry because they also had not a fairy for their 
godmother. 



103 



Some days after the birth of Rosette, the king and queen 
sent her to the country, on a farm, to be nursed. Rosette 
lived happily here for fifteen years without her parents com 
ing once to see her. Every year they sent a small sum of 
money to the farmer to pay Rosette's expenses and asked 
some questions as to her health, but they never came to see 
her nor disturbed themselves about her education. 

Rosette would indeed have been very rude and ignorant 
if her good godmother, the fairy Puissante, had not sent her 
teachers and all that was necessary. In this way Rosette 
learned to read, to write, to keep accounts and to work beau 
tifully. She became an accomplished musician, she knew 
how to draw and spoke several languages. 

Rosette was the most beautiful, the most attractive, the 
most amiable and the most excellent princess in the whole 
world. She had never disobeyed her nurse or godmother, 
and had therefore never been reproved. She did not regret 
her father and mother, as she did not know them and she did 
not desire any other home than the farm where she had been 
so happy. 

One day when Rosette was seated on a bench before the 
door, she saw a man arrive in a laced hat and coat; he ap 
proached her and asked if he could speak to the princess 
Rosette. 

"Yes, without doubt," answered the princess; "I am the 
princess Rosette." 



104 




She saw a man arrive in a laced hat and coat 

"Then, princess/' said the man, respectfully taking off 
his hat, "be graciously pleased to receive this letter, which the 
king your father has charged me to deliver to you." 

Rosette took the letter, opened it, and read the follow 
ing: 

"ROSETTE : Your sisters are now eighteen years old and 
it is time they were married. I have invited the princes and 

. P .$>*$ $! *i* 4* 



105 



princesses of all the kingdoms of the earth to come and assist 
at a festival which I intend to give in order to choose hus 
bands for Orangine and Roussette. You are now fifteen 
years old and can properly appear at this festival. You may 
come and pass three days with me. I will send for you in 
eight days. I cannot send you any money for your toilet as 
I am now at great expense for your sisters; besides, no one 
will look at you. Come, therefore, in any clothes you please. 

"THE KING YOUR FATHER/' 

Rosette ran quickly to show this letter to her nurse. 

"Are you pleased, Rosette, to go to this festival?" 

"Yes, my good nurse, I am delighted. I will enjoy my 
self and become acquainted with my father, mother and my 
sisters and then I will return to you." 

"But," said the nurse, shaking her head, "what dress will 
you wear, my poor child?" 

"My beautiful robe of white percale which I always 
wear on holidays, my dear nurse." 

"My poor little one, that robe is indeed very suitable for 
the country but would appear miserably poor at a party of 
kings and princes." 

"Of what consequence is all this, nurse? My father 
himself has said that no one will look at me. This thought 
will make me much more at my ease. I shall see all and no 
one will see me." 

* % 4> -fr * fr + * * + 



1 06 



The nurse sighed but said nothing and began immedi 
ately to mend, whiten and smooth Rosette's white robe. 

The day before the king was to send for her, the nurse 
called her and said : 

"My dear child, here is your dress for the king's festival : 
be very careful with it as I shall not be there to whiten and 
smooth it for you." 

"Thanks, my good nurse; be satisfied I will take great 



care." 



The nurse now packed in a little trunk the percale robe 
and white skirt, a pair of cotton stockings and black shoes 
and then a little bouquet of flowers for Rosette to wear in 
her hair. Just as she was about to close the trunk, the win 
dow opened violently and the fairy Puissante entered. 

"You are going, then, to your father's court, my dear 
Rosette?" said the fairy. 

"Yes, dear godmother, but only for three days." 

"But what dress have you prepared for those three 
days?" 

"Look, godmother ! look!" and she pointed to the trunk, 
which was still open. 

The fairy smiled, drew a small bottle from her pocket 
and said : "I intend that my dear Rosette shall make a sensa 
tion by her dress. This is unworthy of her." 

The fairy opened the bottle, and threw some drops of the 
liquid it contained upon the robe, which became a coarse In- 



107 



dia rubber cloth; then a drop upon the cotton stockings, 
which changed into blue yarn; a third drop upon the bou 
quet, which became a hen's egg; a fourth upon the shoes, 
and they immediately changed into coarse felt. 

"In this manner," said she, with a gracious air, "do I 
wish my Rosette to appear. You must attire yourself in 
all this and, to complete your toilette, here is a necklace of 
nuts, a band for your hair of burrs, and bracelets of dried 
beans." She kissed Rosette who was completely stupefied. 
The fairy then disappeared and the nurse burst into tears. 

"Alas ! it was not worth my while to give myself all the 
trouble of preparing this poor robe. Oh, my poor Rosette ! 
Do not go to this festival. Pretend you are ill, my child." 

"No," said Rosette ; "that would be to displease my god 
mother. I am sure that she does what is best for me. She is 
much wiser than I am. I will go and I will wear all that my 
godmother has brought me." And the good and obedient 
Rosette thought no more of her dress. She went to bed and 
slept tranquilly. 

She had scarce arranged her hair and dressed herself in 
the morning when the chariot of the fairy came for her. 
She embraced her nurse, took her little trunk and departed. 




108 




ROSETTE AT THE COURT OF THE KING HER 

FATHER 

THEY were but two hours on the way, for the king's 
capital was only ten leagues from the farm. When 
Rosette arrived, she was surprised to see that she 
had to descend in a little, dirty court-yard, where a page at 
tended her. 

"Come, princess, I am commissioned to conduct you to 
your chamber." 

"Can I not see the queen my mother?" asked Rosette, 
timidly. 

"In two hours, princess, when they are assembled for 
dinner, you will see her. In the mean time you can dress." 

Rosette followed the page, who led her through a long 
corridor, at the end of which was a narrow staircase. She 
ascended, slowly, after a long, long time arriving at another 
corridor where she entered the chamber destined for her. 



109 



4 .. '4 4* .!' *i <ft 4* 4* *& 

4*s>-x*Xf-x*-&**5i.5*&. 

The queen had lodged Rosette in one of the servants' rooms. 
The little page placed Rosette's modest trunk in a corner and 
said, with an air of embarrassment, 

"Pardon me, princess, for having led you into this 
chamber, so unworthy of you. The queen has disposed of 
all the other apartments for her guests, the kings, queens, 
princes and princesses. There was no other room vacant 
and " 

"Well, well," said Rosette, smiling, "I shall not blame 
you. Besides, I shall be very comfortable." 

"I will come for you, princess, to lead you to the king 
and queen at the proper hour." 

"I will be ready," said Rosette; "adieu, pretty page." 

Rosette now unpacked her trunk. Her heart was beat 
ing and swelling tumultuously. Sighing heavily, she drew 
out her robe of coarse cloth and the other articles of her toil 
ette. Rosette was very adroit. She arranged her exquisite 
blonde hair most beautifully, with a pullet's feather and a 
band made of burrs. Her head-dress was indeed so charm 
ing that it made her a hundred times more lovely. When she 
had put on her shoes and stockings and her robe, what was 
her amazement to see that it was made of gold brocade, em 
broidered with rubies of marvellous beauty ; her coarse heavy 
shoes were now white satin, adorned with buckles of one 
single ruby of wonderful splendour; her stockings were of 
silk and as fine as a spider's web ; her necklace was of rubies 



no 



surrounded with large diamonds; her bracelets of diamonds, 
the most splendid that had ever been seen. 

Rosette now ran to the glass and saw that the pullet's 
wing had become a magnificent locket and that the pendant 
was a carbuncle of such beauty and brilliancy that a fairy 
alone could possess it. 

Rosette, happy, delighted, exultant, danced around the 
little room and thanked her good godmother aloud for hav 
ing tested her obedience and thus magnificently rewarded it. 

The page now knocked at the door, entered and started 
back, dazzled by the beauty of Rosette and the magnificence 
of her toilette. Rosette followed him. They descended the 
stairs, passed through many apartments and at last entered a 
suite of superb salons, filled with kings, queens and nobles. 
Every one who saw Rosette paused and turned to admire her. 
The modest princess, however, was ashamed to be thus gazed 
at and did not dare raise her eyes. At last the page paused 
and said to Rosette : 

"Princess, behold the queen your mother and the king !" 

Rosette raised her eyes and saw just before her the king 
and queen who regarded her with a comic surprise. 

"Madam," said the king at last to her, "be graciously 
pleased to tell me your name. You are no doubt some great 
queen or still greater fairy whose unexpected presence is an 
honor and a happiness for us." 

"Sire," said Rosette, falling gracefully upon her knees, 



in 



"I am neither a great queen nor a powerful fairy but your 
daughter Rosette, for whom you were kind enough to send." 

"Rosette!" exclaimed the queen; "Rosette clothed more 
magnificently than I have ever been ! Who, then, miss, has 
given you all these beautiful things?" 

"My godmother, madam. Graciously permit me, 
madam, to kiss your hand and present me to my sisters." 

The queen gave her hand coldly. Then pointing to 
Orangine and Roussette, who were by her side, she said: 
"There are your sisters." 

Poor Rosette, saddened by this cold welcome from her 
father and mother, turned gladly towards her sisters and 
wished to embrace them but they drew back with terror, fear 
ing that while embracing them Rosette would displace the 
red and white with which they were painted. Orangine cov 
ered herself with white to conceal her yellow skin and Rous 
sette to hide her ugly freckles. 

Rosette was repulsed by her sisters but was soon sur 
rounded by the ladies of the court and all the invited princes. 
As she conversed with ready grace and goodness and spoke 
several languages she charmed all those who approached her. 
Orangine and Roussette were frightfully jealous. The king 
and queen were furious for Rosette absorbed all attention; 
no one paid any attention to the sisters. 

At table the young prince Charmant, who was monarch 
of the most magnificent and beautiful of all the kingdoms of 

*| $ ^ f *f* 4* *t* *t* $ 



112 



the earth and whom Orangine hoped to wed, placed himself 
by the side of Rosette and was completely absorbed in her 
during the repast. 

After dinner, Orangine and Roussette, in order to draw 
some attention towards themselves, sang a duet. They sang 
indeed admirably and accompanied themselves on the harp. 
Rosette who was truly good and wished her sister to love her, 
applauded them rapturously and complimented them on 
their talent. 

Orangine, in place of being touched by this generous 
sentiment and hoping to play her sister a malicious trick, 
now insisted upon her singing. Rosette for some time mod 
estly refused. Her sisters, who supposed that she did not 
know how to sing, were insistent. The queen herself, desir 
ing to humiliate poor Rosette, joined her entreaties to those 
of Orangine and Roussette and in fact commanded the 
young princess to sing. 

Rosette curtsied to the queen. "I obey, madam/' said 
she. 

She took the harp and the enchanting grace of her posi 
tion astonished her sisters. They would have been glad in 
deed to interrupt her when she commenced her prelude for 
they saw at a glance that her talent was much superior to 
theirs. But when, in a beautiful and melodious voice, she 
sang a romance, composed by herself on the happiness of 
being good and beloved there was an outbreak of admiration, 



the enthusiasm became general and her sisters almost fainted 
with jealousy and envy. 

Charmant was transported with admiration. He ap 
proached Rosette, his eyes moistened with tears and said to 
her: 

"Enchanting and lovely princess, I have never heard so 
touching a voice. Can I not have the happiness of hearing 
you once more?" 

Rosette, who was painfully aware of the jealousy of her 
sisters, excused herself, saying she was fatigued. Prince 
Charmant, who had clear intellect and penetration, divined 
the true motive of her refusal and admired Rosette still more 
for her delicacy. The queen, irritated by the success of Ros 
ette, terminated the party at an early hour and retired. 

Rosette returned to her little room and undressed her 
self. She removed her robe and her ornaments and put 
them in a superb case of ebony which she found in her room. 
Much to her surprise, she found in her little trunk the robe of 
coarse cloth, the pullet feather, the necklace of nuts, the 
burrs, the dry beans, the coarse shoes of felt and the blue 
yarn stockings. She would not allow herself, however, to be 
disquieted, certain that her good godmother would come to 
her assistance at the proper time. Rosette was indeed sad 
dened by the coldness of her parents and the jealousy of her 
sisters ; but, as she scarcely knew them, this painful impres 
sion was effaced by the remembrance of the Prince Char- 



114 



<$*$$ *f <$*' *f* I' *$* *i* *i* 

mant, who appeared so good and who had been so flattering 
in his attention to her. Rosette soon slept peacefully and 
awoke late in the morning. 





FAMILY COUNCIL 

WHILE Rosette was only occupied with smiling 
and pleasant thoughts, the king, the queen and 
the princesses Orangine and Roussette were 
choking with rage. They had all assembled in the queen's 
apartment. 

"This is too horrible," said the princesses. "Why did 
you send for this Rosette, who has such dazzling jewels and 
makes herself admired and sought after by all these foolish 
kings and princes? Was it to humiliate us, my father, that 
you called us to the court at this time?" 

"I swear to you, my beautiful darlings," said the king, 
"that it was by the order of the fairy Puissante I was com 
pelled to write for her to come. Besides, I did not know that 
she was so beautiful and that " 

"So beautiful !" interrupted the princesses. "Where do 
you find her so beautiful? She is indeed ugly and coarse. 



116 



It is her magnificent attire alone which makes her admired. 
Why have you not given to us your most superb jewels and 
your richest robes? We have the air of young slovens by 
the side of this proud princess." 

"And where could I possibly have found jewels as mag 
nificent as hers? I have none which would compare with 
them. It is her godmother, the fairy Puissante, who has lent 
her these jewels." 

"Why, then, did you summon a fairy to be the god 
mother of Rosette, when you gave to us only queens for our 
godmothers?" 

"It was not your father who called her," cried the queen. 
"The fairy Puissante herself, without being called, appeared 
to us and signified that she would be Rosette's godmother." 

"It is not worth while to spend the time in disputing and 
quarrelling," said the king. "It is better to occupy ourselves 
in finding some means of getting rid of Rosette and prevent 
ing Prince Charmant from seeing her again." 

"Nothing more easy than that," said the queen. "I will 
have her despoiled to-morrow of her rare jewels and her 
beautiful robes. I will order my servants to seize her and 
carry her back to the farm which she shall never leave again." 

The queen had scarcely uttered these words, when the 
fairy Puissante appeared with an angry and threatening air. 
"If you dare to touch Rosette," said she, with a thundering 
voice, "if you do not keep her at the palace, if she is not 

44>*f*i**i**i**l**t*t**ft* 



117 



present at all the parties, you shall feel the terrible effects 
of my anger. You unworthy king and you heartless queen, 
you shall be changed into toads and you, odious daughters 
and sisters, shall become vipers. Dare now to touch Ro 
sette!" 

Saying these words, she disappeared. 

The king, the queen and princesses were horribly fright 
ened and separated without saying a single word but their 
hearts were filled with rage. The princesses slept but little 
and were yet more furious in the morning when they saw 
their eyes heavy and their features convulsed by evil pas 
sions. In vain they used rouge and powder and beat their 
maids. They had no longer a vestige of beauty. The king 
and queen were as unhappy and as despairing as the prin 
cesses and indeed they saw no remedy for their grief and 
disappointment. 




118 




SECOND DAY OF THE FESTIVAL 

IN the morning a coarse servant brought Rosette bread 
and milk and offered her services to dress her. Rosette, 
who did not wish this rude domestic to see the change in 
her dress, thanked her smilingly and replied that she was in 
the habit of arranging her hair and dressing herself. Ro 
sette then began her toilette. When she had washed and 
combed her hair she wished to arrange it with the superb 
carbuncle she had worn the day before but she saw with sur 
prise that the ebony case had disappeared and in its place 
was a small wooden trunk, upon which there lay a folded 
paper. She took it and read the following directions : 

"Here are your things, Rosette. Dress yourself as you 
were dressed yesterday, in the clothing you brought from 
the farm." 



119 



Rosette did not hesitate an instant, certain that her god 
mother would come to her help at the proper time. She ar 
ranged her pullet wing in a different manner from that of 
the day before, put on her dress, her necklace, her shoes, her 
bracelets and then stood before the glass. 

When she saw her own reflection in the mirror she was 
amazed. She was attired in the richest and most splendid 
riding-suit of sky-blue velvet and pearl buttons as large as 
walnuts; her stockings were bordered with a wreath of 
pearls; her head-dress was a cap of sky-blue velvet with a 
long plume of dazzling whiteness, which floated down to 
her waist and was attached by a single pearl of unparalleled 
beauty and splendor. The boots were also of blue velvet em 
broidered in gold and pearls. Her bracelets and necklace 
also were of pearls, so large and so pure that a single one 
would have paid for the king's palace. 

At the moment when Rosette was about to leave her 
chamber to follow the page, a sweet voice whispered in her 
ear, "Rosette, do not mount any other horse than the one 
the prince Charmant will present you." 

She turned and saw no one; but she felt convinced that 
this counsel came from her good godmother. 

"Thanks, dear godmother," she said, in low tones. She 
felt a sweet kiss upon her cheek and smiled with happiness 
and gratitude. 

The little page conducted her, as the day before, into the 

} *| | < * *i* *$ <! 'i* *t* 



1 20 



royal salon, where her appearance produced a greater effect 
than before. Her fine, sweet countenance, her splendid fig 
ure, her magnificent dress, allured all eyes and captivated all 
hearts. 

The prince Charmant, who was evidently expecting her, 
advanced to meet her, offered his arm and led her to the king 
and queen who received her with more coldness than the day 
before. Orangine and Roussette were bursting with spite 
at the sight of the splendid appearance of Rosette. They 
would not even say good-day to their sister. 

The good, young princess was of course somewhat em 
barrassed by this reception but the prince Charmant, seeing 
her distress, approached and asked permission to be her com 
panion during the chase in the forest. 

"It will be a great pleasure to me," replied Rosette, who 
did not know how to dissimulate. 

"It seems to me," said he, "that I am your brother, so 
great is the affection which I feel for you, charming princess. 
Permit me to remain by your side and to defend you against 
all enemies." 

"It will be an honor and a pleasure for me to be pro 
tected by a king so worthy of the name he bears." 

Prince Charmant was enchanted by this gracious reply 
and, notwithstanding the malice of Orangine and Roussette, 
who tried in every possible way to attract him to themselves, 
he did not leave Rosette's side for a moment. 

4 + fr . + Hfc vfr ^ 4* . ! ^ 



121 



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After breakfast they descended to the court for a ride on 
horseback. A page advanced to Rosette, leading a splendid 
black horse, which could scarcely be held by the grooms, it 
was so wild and vicious. 

"You must not ride this horse, princess," said Prince 
Charmant, "it will certainly kill you. Bring another horse 
for the princess," he said, turning to the page. 

"The king and the queen gave orders that the princess 
should ride no other horse than this," said the page. At this 
the prince exclaimed: 

"Dear princess, wait but for a moment; I myself will 
bring you a horse worthy of you but I implore you not to 
mount this dangerous animal." 

"I will wait your return," said Rosette, with a gracious 
smile. 

A few moments afterwards Prince Charmant appeared, 
leading a magnificent horse, white as snow. The saddle was 
of blue velvet, embroidered in pearls and the bridle was of 
gold and pearls. When Rosette wished to mount, the horse 
knelt down and rose quietly when she had placed herself in 
the saddle. 

Prince Charmant sprang lightly upon his beautiful steed 
Alezan and placed himself by the side of the princess Ro 
sette. The king, the queen and the princesses, who had seen 
all this, were pale with rage but they dared say nothing for 
fear of the fairy Puissante. 



122 



The king gave the signal to depart. Every lady had 
her attendant gentleman. Orangine and Roussette were 
obliged to content themselves with two insignificant princes 
who were neither so young nor so handsome as Prince Char- 
mant. Orangine and Roussette were so sulky that even these 
princes declared they would never wed princesses so uninter 
esting. 

In place of following the chase, Prince Charmant and 
Rosette wandered in the beautiful shady walks of the forest, 
talking merrily and giving accounts of their past lives. 

"But," said Charmant, "if the king your father has not 
allowed you to reside in his palace, how is it that he has given 
you such beautiful jewels, worthy of a fairy?" 

"It is to my good godmother that I owe them," replied 
Rosette. And then she told Prince Charmant how she had 
been educated on a farm and that she was indebted to the 
fairy Puissante for everything that she knew and everything 
she valued. The fairy had watched over her education and 
granted her every wish of her heart. 

Charmant listened with a lively interest and a tender 
compassion. And now, in his turn, he told Rosette that he 
had been left an orphan at the age of seven years ; that the 
fairy Puissante had presided over his education; that she had 
also sent him to the festivals given by the king, telling him 
he would find there the perfect woman he was seeking. 

"In short, I believe, dear Rosette, that I have found in 



123 



<. 4- **.****.* + 
you the charming and perfect creature of whom the fairy 
spoke. Deign, princess, to connect your life with mine and 
authorize me to demand your hand of your parents." 

"Before answering, dear prince, I must obtain permis 
sion of my godmother but you may be sure that I shall be very 
happy to pass my life with you." 

The morning thus passed away most agreeably for Ro 
sette and Charmant and they returned to the palace to dress 
for dinner. 

Rosette entered her ugly garret and saw before her a 
magnificent box of rosewood, wide open. She undressed 
and as she removed her articles of clothing they arranged 
themselves in the box, which then closed firmly. She ar 
ranged her hair and dressed herself with her usual neatness 
and then ran to the glass. She could not suppress a cry of 
admiration. 

Her robe was of gauze and was so fine and light, and 
brilliant it looked as if woven of the wings of butterflies. It 
was studded with diamonds as brilliant as stars. The hem of 
this robe, the corsage and the waist were trimmed with dia 
mond fringe which sparkled like suns. Her hair was partly 
covered with a net of diamonds from which a tassel of im 
mense diamonds fell to her shoulders. Every diamond was 
as large as a pear and was worth a kingdom. Her necklace 
and bracelets were so immense and so brilliant that you could 
not look at them fixedly without being blinded. 



124 



The young princess thanked her godmother most ten 
derly and felt again upon her fair cheek the sweet kiss of the 
morning. She followed the page and entered the royal sa 
lon. Prince Charmant was awaiting her at the door, offered 
her his arm and conducted her to the apartment of the king 
and queen. Rosette advanced to salute them. 

Charmant saw with indignation the glances of rage and 
revenge which the king, queen and princesses cast upon poor 
Rosette. He remained by her side as he had done in the 
morning and was witness to the admiration which she in 
spired and the malice and envy of her sisters. 

Rosette was indeed sad to find herself the object 
of hatred to her father, mother and sisters. Charmant per 
ceived her melancholy and asked the cause. She explained 
it to him frankly. 

"When, oh ! when, my dear Rosette, will you permit me 
to ask your hand of your father? In my kingdom every one 
will love you and I more than all the rest." 

"To-morrow, dear prince, I will send you the reply of 
my godmother whom I shall question on the subject this 
evening." 

They were now summoned to dinner. Charmant 
placed himself at Rosette's side and they conversed in a most 
agreeable manner. 

After dinner the king gave orders for the ball to com 
mence. Orangine and Roussette, who had taken lessons for 



125 



ten years, danced well but without any peculiar grace. 
They believed that Rosette had never had any opportunity to 
dance and with a mocking, malicious air, they now an 
nounced to her that it was her turn. 

The modest Rosette hesitated and drew back because it 
was repugnant to her to show herself in public and attract 
the general regard. But the more she declined, the more her 
envious sisters insisted, hoping that she would at last suffer 
a real humiliation. 

The queen now interfered and sternly commanded Ro 
sette to dance. Rosette rose at once to obey the queen. 
Charmant, seeing her embarrassment, said to her in low 
tones : 

"I will be your partner, dear Rosette. If you do not 
know a single step, let me execute it for you alone." 

"Thanks, dear prince. I recognize and am grateful 
for your courtesy. I accept you for my partner and hope 
that you will not have occasion to blush for your gener 
osity." 

And now Rosette and Charmant commenced. A more 
animated, graceful and light dance was never seen. All 
present gazed at them with ever increasing admiration. 
Rosette was so superior in dancing to Orangine and Rous- 
sette, that they could scarcely suppress their rage. They 
wished to throw themselves upon the young princess, choke 
her and tear her diamonds from her. The king and queen, 

>||$*$<$*4 li 4'4'4*4' 



126 



They walked side by side during the rest of the evening 



4* 4* 4 4 4 4* 4> 4* 4 4* 

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who had been watching them and divined their intention, 
stopped them, and whispered in their ears : 

"Remember the threats and power of the fairy Puis- 
sante! To-morrow shall be the last day." 

When the dance was concluded, the most rapturous ap 
plause resounded throughout the hall and every one en 
treated Charmant and Rosette to repeat the dance. As they 
felt no fatigue they did not wish to seem disobliging and exe 
cuted a new dance, more graceful and attractive than the 
first. 

Orangine and Roussette could no longer control them 
selves. They were suffocating with rage, fainted and were 
carried from the room. They had become so marked by the 
passions of envy and rage that they had lost every vestige of 
beauty and no one had any sympathy for them, as all had seen 
their jealousy and wickedness. 

The applause and enthusiasm for Rosette and Charmant 
were so overpowering that they sought refuge in the garden. 
They walked side by side during the rest of the evening, and 
talked merrily and happily over their plans for the future, if 
the fairy Puissante would permit them to unite the smooth 
current of their lives. The diamonds of Rosette sparkled 
with such brilliancy that the alleys where they walked and 
the little groves where they seated themselves, seemed illum 
inated by a thousand stars. At last it was necessary to sep 
arate. 



127 



"To-morrow!" said Rosette, "to-morrow I hope to say, 
yours eternally." 

Rosette entered her little room. As she undressed, her 
clothing arranged itself as the day before in the case. This 
new case was of carved ivory and studded with turquoise 
nails. When Rosette had lain down peacefully upon her 
bed she put out the light, and said, in a low voice : 

"My dear, good godmother, to-morrow I must give a 
definite answer to Prince Charmant. Dictate my response, 
dear godmother. I will obey your command, no matter how 
painful it may be." 

"Say yes, my dear Rosette, to Prince Charmant," replied 
the soft voice of the fairy. "I myself arranged this mar 
riage. It was to make you acquainted with Prince Char 
mant that I forced your father to invite you to this festival." 

Rosette thanked the kind fairy and slept the sleep of in 
nocence, after having felt the maternal lips of her good pro 
tectress upon her cheeks. 




128 




THIRD AND LAST DAY OF THE FESTIVAL 

WHILE Rosette was thus sleeping peacefully, the 
king, the queen, and Orangine and Roussette, 
purple with rage, were quarrelling and disput 
ing amongst themselves. Each was accusing the other of 
having brought about the triumph of Rosette and their own 
humiliating defeat. One last hope remained for them. In 
the morning there was to be a chariot race. Each chariot 
was to be drawn by two horses and driven by a lady. It was 
resolved to give Rosette a very high chariot, drawn by two 
wild, untrained and prancing horses. 

"Prince Charmant will have no chariot and horses to ex 
change," said the queen, "as he had this morning in the case 
of the riding-horse. It is easy to find a horse for the saddle 
but it will be impossible for him to find a chariot ready for 
the course." 

The consoling thought that Rosette might be killed or 

4 4 4* 4* 4* 4* 4* 4 i* *i* 

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129 



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grievously wounded and disfigured on the morrow brought 
peace to these four wicked beings. They retired and 
dreamed of the next best means of ridding themselves of 
Rosette if the chariot race failed. Orangine and Roussette 
slept but little so that in the morning they were still uglier 
and more unprepossessing than they had appeared the day 
before. 

Rosette, who had a tranquil conscience and contented 
heart, slept all night calmly. She had been much fatigued 
and did not wake till a late hour. Indeed, on rising she 
found she had scarcely time to dress. The coarse kitchen 
girl brought her a cup of milk and a piece of bread. This 
was by order of the queen who directed that she should be 
treated like a servant. 

Rosette was not difficult to please. She ate the coarse 
bread and milk with appetite and began to dress. The case 
of carved ivory had disappeared. She put on as usual her 
robe of coarse cloth, her pullet's wing, and all the rude orna 
ments she had brought from the farm and then looked at her 
self in the glass. 

She was attired in a riding habit of straw-colored satin, 
embroidered in front and at the hem with sapphires and 
emeralds. Her hat was of white velvet, ornamented with 
plumes of a thousand colors, taken from the plumage of the 
rarest birds and attached by a sapphire larger than an egg. 
On her neck was a chain of sapphires, at the end of which 



130 



4* 4* 4* 4* 4 4* 4* <4 & <4 

Jlf-if.39iX*.Xf.Sf.5f*19>}lf>]9. 

was a watch, the face of which was opal, the back a carved 
sapphire and the glass diamond. This watch was always 
going, was never out of order and never required to be 
wound up. 

Rosette heard her page at the door and followed him. 
On entering the salon she perceived Prince Charmant, who 
was awaiting her with the most lively impatience. He 
sprang forward to receive her, offered his arm and said with 
eagerness : 

"Well, dear princess, what did the fairy say to you? 
What answer do you give me?" 

"That which my heart dictated, sweet prince. I 
consecrate my life to you as you have dedicated yours to 



me." 



"Thanks ! a thousand times thanks, dear and bewitching 
Rosette. When may I demand your hand of the king your 
father?" 

"At the close of the chariot race, dear prince." 

"Permit me to add to my first petition that of being 
married to you this very day. I cannot bear to see you sub 
jected to the tyranny of your family and I wish to conduct 
you at once to my kingdom." 

Rosette hesitated. The soft voice of the fairy whispered 
in her ear, "Accept." The same voice whispered to 
Charmant, "Press the marriage, prince and speak to the king 
without delay. Rosette's life is in danger and during eight 



days from the setting of the sun this evening I cannot watch 
over her." 

Charmant trembled and repeated the fairy's words to 
Rosette, who replied that it was a warning they must not 
neglect as it undoubtedly came from the fairy Puissante. 

The princess now advanced to salute the king, the queen 
and her sisters but they neither looked at her nor spoke to 
her. She was however immediately surrounded by a crowd 
of kings and princes, each one of whom had himself pro 
posed to ask her hand in marriage that evening but no one 
had an opportunity to speak to her as Charmant never left 
her side a single moment. 

After the repast they went down to get into the chariots. 
The kings and princes were to go on horseback and the ladies 
to drive the chariots. 

The chariot designed for Rosette by the queen was now 
brought forward. Charmant seized Rosette at the moment 
she was about to take the reins and lifted her to the ground. 

"You shall not enter this chariot, princess. Look at 
these wild ungovernable horses." 

Rosette now saw that it took four men to hold each of 
the horses and that they were prancing and jumping alarm 
ingly. 

At this instant a pretty little jockey, attired in a straw- 
colored satin vest, with blue ribbon knots, exclaimed in 
silvery tones : 



132 



| f* 4* 4* t* 4* 4p *t* ^ <fr 

"The equipage of the Princess Rosette!" 

And now a little chariot of pearls and mother-of-pearl, 
drawn by two magnificent steeds with harness of straw- 
colored velvet ornamented with sapphires, drew up before 
the princess. 

Charmant scarcely knew whether to allow Rosette to 
mount this unknown chariot for he still feared some cunning 
wickedness of the king and queen. But the voice of the 
fairy sounded in his ear : 

"Allow Rosette to ascend the chariot; these horses are a 
present from me. Follow them wherever they may take 
Rosette. The day is advancing. I have but a few hours 
left in which I can be of service to Rosette and she must be 
safe in your kingdom before the day closes." 

Charmant assisted Rosette to ascend the chariot and 
sprang upon his horse. A few moments afterwards, two 
chariots driven by veiled women advanced in front of 
Rosette. One of them dashed her chariot with such violence 
against that of Rosette, that the little chariot of mother-of- 
pearl would inevitably have been crushed had it not been 
constructed by fairies. The heavy and massive chariot was 
dashed to pieces instead of Rosette's. The veiled woman 
was thrown upon the stones, where she remained immovable 
whilst Rosette, who had recognized Orangine, tried to stop 
her own horses. The other chariot now dashed against that 
of Rosette and was crushed like the first and the veiled 



133 



4* ^i* 4* *i* 4* <$ *f* HK *t 4* 

woman was also dashed upon the stones, which seemed 
placed there to receive her. 

Rosette recognised Roussette and was about to descend 
from her chariot when Charmant interfered, and said: 
"Listen, Rosette!" 

A voice whispered, "Go, flee quickly! The king is 
pursuing you with a great company to kill you both. The 
sun will set in a few hours. I have barely time to rescue you 
from this danger so give my horses the reins; Charmant, 
abandon yours." 

Charmant sprang into the chariot by the side of Rosette, 
who was more dead than alive. The superb steeds set off 
with such marvellous speed that they made more than twenty 
leagues an hour. For a long time they knew that they were 
pursued by the king with a numerous tfoop of armed men 
but they could not overtake the horses of the fairy. The 
chariot still flew on with lightning haste ; the horses increased 
their speed till at last they made a hundred leagues an hour. 
During six hours they kept up this rate and then drew up at 
the foot of the stairs of Prince Charmant. 

The whole palace was illuminated and all the courtiers 
were waiting at the entrance in their most magnificent cos 
tumes to welcome the princess and the prince. 

The prince and Rosette were amazed, not knowing how 
to understand this unexpected reception. Charmant had 
just assisted the princess to descend from the chariot, when 

. ,U ejL , I, e& s)~ .' , e&> e&*> e&s e& 

8. & 9 * & 9- * 9 9- & 



134 



they saw before them the fairy Puissante, who said: 
"Most welcome to your kingdom. Prince Charmant, 
follow me; all is prepared for your marriage. Conduct 
Rosette to her room that she may change her dress, whilst I 
explain to you all the events of this day which seem so incom 
prehensible to you. I have one hour at my disposal." 

The fairy and Charmant now led Rosette to an apart 
ment, ornamented with the most exquisite taste, where she 
found her maids waiting to attend upon her. 

"I will return to seek you in a short time, my dear 
Rosette," said the fairy; "my moments are counted." 
She departed with Charmant and said to him : 
"The hatred of the king and queen against Rosette had 
become so intense that they had blindly resolved to defy my 
vengeance and to get rid of Rosette. Seeing that their cun 
ning arrangements in the chariot race had not succeeded 
after I substituted my horses for those which would certainly 
have killed Rosette, they resolved to have recourse to vio 
lence. The king employed a band of brigands, who swore 
to him a blind obedience; they pursued your steps with ven 
geance in their hearts and as the king knew your love for 
Rosette and foresaw that you would defend her to the death, 
he was resolved to sacrifice you also to his hatred. Orangine 
and Roussette, ignorant of this last project of the king, 
attempted to kill Rosette, as you have seen, by dashing 
their heavy chariots violently against the light chariot 



135 



|t f *!* * *t* *f* *t* *i* *i* *i* 

of the princess. I have punished them as they deserved. 

"Orangine and Roussette have had their faces so 
crushed and wounded by the stones that they have become 
frightful. I have aroused them from their state of uncon 
sciousness, cured their wounds but left the hideous scars to 
disfigure them. I have deprived them of all their rich cloth 
ing and dressed them like peasants and I married them at 
once to two brutal ostlers whom I commissioned to beat and 
maltreat them until their wicked hearts are changed and 
this I think will never take place. 

"As to the king and queen, I have changed them into 
beasts of burden and given them to wicked and cruel masters 
who will make them suffer for all their brutality to Rosette. 
Besides this, they have all been transported into your king 
dom and they will be compelled to hear unceasingly the 
praises of Rosette and her husband. 

"I have but one piece of advice to give you, dear prince; 
hide from Rosette the punishment I have inflicted upon her 
parents and sisters. She is so good and tender-hearted that 
her happiness would be affected by it, but I ought not and 
will not take pity upon wicked people whose hearts are so 
vicious and unrepentant." 

Charmant thanked the fairy eagerly and promised 
silence. They now returned to Rosette, who was clothed in 
her wedding-robe, prepared by the fairy Puissante. 

It was a tissue of dazzling golden gauze, embroidered 



136 



with garlands of flowers and birds, in stones of all colors, of 
admirable beauty ; the jewels which formed the birds were so 
disposed as to produce, at every motion of Rosette, a war 
bling more melodious than the sweetest music. Upon her 
head was a crown of flowers made of gems still more beauti 
ful and rare than those on her robe. Her neck and arms 
were covered with carbuncles more brilliant than the sun. 

Charmant was completely dazzled by his bride's beauty 
but the fairy recalled him from his ecstasy by saying: 

"Quick ! quick ! onward ! I have but half an hour, after 
which I must give myself up to the queen of the fairies and 
lose my power for eight days. We are all subject to this 
law and nothing can free us from it." 

Charmant presented his hand to Rosette and the fairy 
preceded them. They walked towards the chapel which was 
brilliantly illuminated and here Charmant and Rosette re 
ceived the nuptial benediction. On returning to the parlor, 
they perceived that the fairy had disappeared, but, as they 
were sure of again seeing her in eight days her absence 
caused them no anxiety. Charmant presented the new 
queen to his court. Everybody found her as charming and 
good as the prince and they felt disposed to love her as they 
loved him. 

With a most amiable and thoughtful attention, the fairy 
had transported the farm, upon which Rosette had been so 
happy, and all its occupants into Charmant's kingdom. 



137 




The fairy must give herself up to the queen and lose her power for eight days 

This farm was placed at the end of the park, so that Rosette 
could walk there every day and see her good nurse. The 
fairy had also brought into the palace all those cases which 
contained the rich dresses in which Rosette had been so 
triumphant at the festivals. 

Rosette and Charmant were very happy and loved each 
other tenderly always. Rosette never knew the terrible 
punishment of her father, mother and sisters. When she 



138 



asked Charmant the fate of her sisters, he told her that their 
faces were much disfigured by their fall amongst the stones 
but they were well and married and the good fairy expressly 
forbade Rosette to think of them. She spoke of them no 
more. 

As to Orangine and Roussette, the more unhappy they 
were, the more cruel and wicked their hearts became, so the 
fairy allowed them to remain always ugly and in the most 
degraded ranks of life. 

The king and queen, changed into beasts of burden, 
found their only consolation in biting and kicking every 
thing that came within their reach. They were obliged to 
carry their masters to festivals given in honor of Rosette's 
marriage and they were mad with rage when they heard the 
praises lavished upon the young couple and in seeing Rosette 
pass by, beautiful, radiant and adored by Charmant. 

The fairy had resolved that they should not return to 
their original forms till their hearts were changed. It is said 
that six thousand years have passed, and they are still beasts 
of burden. 




139 




141 




THE LITTLE GREY MOUSE 
THE LITTLE HOUSE 

THERE was once a man named Prudent, who was a 
widower and he lived alone with his little daughter. 
His wife had died a few days after the birth of this 
little girl, who was named Rosalie. 

Rosalie's father had a large fortune. He lived in a 
great house, which belonged to him. This house was sur 
rounded by a large garden in which Rosalie walked when 
ever she pleased to do so. 

She had been trained with great tenderness and gentle 
ness but her father had accustomed her to the most unques 
tioning obedience. He forbade her positively to ask him 
any useless questions or to insist upon knowing anything he 
did not wish to tell her. In this way, by unceasing care and 



143 



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Rosalie never left the park, which was surrounded by Tiigh walls 

watchfulness, he had almost succeeded in curing one of 
Rosalie's great faults, a fault indeed unfortunately too com 
mon curiosity. 

Rosalie never left the park, which was surrounded by 
high walls. She never saw any one but her father. They 
had no domestic in the house; everything seemed to be done 
of itself. She always had what she wanted clothing, books, 
work, and playthings. Her father educated her himself and 



144 



although she was nearly fifteen years old, she was never 
weary and never thought that she might live otherwise and 
might see more of the world. 

There was a little house at the end of the park without 
windows and with but one door, which was always locked. 
Rosalie's father entered this house every day and always 
carried the key about his person. Rosalie thought it was 
only a little hut in which the garden-tools were kept. She 
never thought of speaking about it but one day, when 
she was seeking a watering-pot for her flowers, she said to 
him: 

"Father, please give me the key of the little house in the 
garden." 

"What do you want with this key, Rosalie?" 

"I want a watering-pot and I think I could find one in 
that little house." 

"No, Rosalie, there is no watering-pot there." 

Prudent's voice trembled so in pronouncing these 
words that Rosalie looked up with surprise, and saw that his 
face was pale and his forehead bathed in perspiration. 

"What is the matter, father?" said she, alarmed. 

"Nothing, daughter, nothing." 

"It was my asking for the key which agitated you so 
violently, father. What does this little house contain which 
frightens you so much?" 

"Rosalie, Rosalie ! you do not know what you are say- 



145 



ing. Go and look for your watering-pot in the green 
house." 

"But, father, what is there in the little garden-house?" 
"Nothing that can interest you, Rosalie." 
"But why do you go there every day without permitting 
me to go with you?" 

"Rosalie, you know that I do not like to be questioned 
and that curiosity is the greatest defect in your character." 

Rosalie said no more but she remained very thoughtful. 
This little house, of which she had never before thought, 
was now constantly in her mind. 

"What can be concealed there?" she said to herself. 
"How pale my father turned when I asked his permission to 
enter! I am sure he thought I should be in some sort of 
danger. But why does he go there himself every day? It 
is no doubt to carry food to some ferocious beast confined 
there. But if it was some wild animal, would I not hear it 
roar or howl or shake the house? No, I have never heard 
any sound from this cabin. It cannot then be a beast. Be 
sides, if it was a ferocious beast, it would devour my father 
when he entered alone. Perhaps, however, it is chained. 
But if it is indeed chained, then there would be no danger 
for me. What can it be? A prisoner? My father is good, 
he would not deprive any unfortunate innocent of light and 
liberty. Well, I absolutely must discover this mystery. 
How shall I manage it? If I could only secretly get the key 



146 



from my father for a half hour! Perhaps some day he will 
forget it." 

Rosalie was aroused from this chain of reflection by her 
father, who called to her with a strangely agitated voice. 

"Here, father I am coming." 

She entered the house and looked steadily at her father. 
His pale, sad countenance indicated great agitation. 

More than ever curious, she resolved to feign gaiety and 
indifference in order to allay h~r father's suspicions and 
make him feel secure. In this way she thought she might 
perhaps obtain possession of the key at some future time. 
He might not always think of it if she herself seemed to have 
forgotten it. 

They seated themselves at the table. Prudent ate but 
little and was sad and silent, in spite of his effc rts to appear 
gay. Rosalie, however, seemed so thoughtless and bright 
that her father at last recovered his accustomed good spirits. 

Rosalie would be fifteen years old in three weeks. Her 
father had promised an agreeable surprise for this event. A 
few days passed peacefully away. There remained but 
fifteen days before her birth-day. One morning Prudent 
said to Rosalie : 

"My dear child, I am compelled to be absent for one 
hour. I must go out to arrange something for your birth 
day. Wait for me in the house, my dear. Do not yield 
yourself up to idle curiosity. In fifteen days you will know 

ft* 4> 4> fe *fr 4 4* 4* 4 4* 

&if.xf-*f-*tXf-*t'V-i?.9. 



147 



4* 4 4* 4 4* 4* 4* 4* 4* 4* 

& if. & f> ** & *f- V JQ* " V 

all that you desire to know, for I read your thoughts and I 
know what occupies your mind. Adieu, my daughter, be 
ware of curiosity !" 

Prudent embraced his daughter tenderly and withdrew, 
leaving her with great reluctance. 

As soon as he was out of sight, Rosalie ran to her father's 
room and what was her joy to see the key forgotten upon the 
table ! She seized it and ran quickly to the end of the park. 
Arrived at the little house, she remembered the words of her 
father, "Beware of curiosity !" She hesitated, and was upon 
the point of returning the key without having looked at the 
house, when she thought she heard a light groan. She put 
her ear against the door and heard a very little voice singing 
softly : 

"A lonely prisoner I pine, 
No hope of freedom now is mine; 
I soon must draw my latest breath, 
And in this dungeon meet my death." 

"No doubt," said Rosalie to herself, "this is some un 
fortunate creature whom my father holds captive." 

Tapping softly upon the door, she said: "Who are 
you, and what can I do for you?" 

"Open the door, Rosalie! I pray you open the door!" 

"But why are you a prisoner? Have you not com 
mitted some crime?" 

"Alas! no, Rosalie. An enchanter keeps me here a 

4* *$* 4 *$* $ 4* *$* $* fr ' $* 



148 



4 4* 4 4 ! fr 4 4* 4 4* 

*****'*>'** 

prisoner. Save me and I will prove my gratitude by telling 
you truly who I am." 

Rosalie no longer hesitated : her curiosity was stronger 
than her obedience. She put the key in the lock, but her 
hand trembled so that she could not open it. She was about 
to give up the effort, when the little voice continued : 

"Rosalie, that which I have to tell you will teach you 
many things which will interest you. Your father is not 
what he appears to be." 

At these words Rosalie made a kst effort, the key turned 
and the door opened. 




149 




R 



THE FAIRY DETESTABLE 

OSALIE looked in eagerly. The little house was 
dark; she could see nothing but she heard the little 
voice : 

"Thanks, Rosalie, it is to you that I owe my deliver 
ance." 

The voice seemed to come from the earth. She looked, 
and saw in a corner two brilliant little eyes gazing at her 
maliciously. 

"My cunning trick has succeeded, Rosalie, and betrayed 
you into yielding to your curiosity. If I had not spoken and 
sung you would have returned with the key and I should have 
been lost. Now that you have set me at liberty, you and your 
father are both in my power." 

Rosalie did not yet fully comprehend the extent of the 
misfortune she had brought about by her disobedience. She 



150 



knew, however, that it was a dangerous foe which her father 
had held captive and she wished to retire and close the door. 

"Stop, Rosalie! It is no longer in your power to keep 
me in this odious prison from which I never could have 
escaped if you had waited until your fifteenth birth-day." 

At this moment the little house disappeared entirely, and 
Rosalie saw with the greatest consternation that the key alone 
remained in her hand. She now saw at her side a small gray 
mouse who gazed at her with its sparkling little eyes and 
began to laugh in a thin, discordant voice. 

"Ha ! ha ! ha ! What a frightened air you have, Rosalie ! 
In truth you amuse me very much. But it is lucky for me 
that you had so much curiosity. It has been nearly fifteen 
years since I was shut up in this frightful prison, having no 
power to injure your father, whom I hate, or to bring any 
evil upon you, whom I detest because you are his daughter." 

"Who are you, then, wicked mouse?" 

"I am the mortal enemy of your family, my pet. I call 
myself the fairy Detestable and the name suits me, I assure 
you. All the world hates me and I hate all the world. I 
shall follow you now for the rest of your life, wherever you 
go." 

"Go away at once, miserable creature ! A mouse is not 
to be feared and I will find a way to get rid of you." 

"We shall see, my pet! I shall remain at your side 
wherever you go !" 







The broom was on fire at once, blazed up and burned her hands 

Rosalie now ran rapidly towards the house; every time 
she turned she saw the mouse galloping after her, and laugh 
ing with a mocking air. Arrived at the house, she tried to 
crush the mouse in the door, but it remained open in spite of 
every effort she could make and the mouse remained quietly 
upon the door-sill. 

"Wait awhile, wicked monster!" cried Rosalie, beside 
herself with rage and terror. 



152 



She seized a broom and tried to dash it violently against 
the mouse but the broom was on fire at once, blazed up and 
burned her hands; she threw it quickly to the floor and 
pushed it into the chimney with her foot, lest it should set fire 
to the house. Then seizing a kettle which was boiling on 
the fire, she emptied it upon the mouse but the boiling water 
was changed into good fresh milk and the mouse commenced 
drinking it, saying : 

"How exceedingly amiable you are, Rosalie! Not 
content with having released me from captivity, you give me 
an excellent breakfast." 

Poor Rosalie now began to weep bitterly. She was 
utterly at a loss what to do, when she heard her father 
entering. 

"My father !" cried she, "my father ! Oh ! cruel mouse, 
I beseech you in pity to go away that my father may not see 
you!" 

"No, I shall not go but I will hide myself behind your 
heels until your father knows of your disobedience." 

The mouse had scarcely concealed herself behind 
Rosalie, when Prudent entered. He looked at Rosalie, 
whose paleness and embarrassed air betrayed her fear. 

"Rosalie," said Prudent, with a trembling voice, "I for 
got the key of the little garden-house; have you found it?" 

"Here it is, father," said Rosalie, presenting it to him, 
and coloring deeply. 



153 



"How did this cream come to be upset on the floor?" 

"Father, it was the cat." 

"The cat? Impossible. The cat brought a vessel of 
milk to the middle of the room and upset it there?" 

"No! no! father, it was I that did it; in carrying it, I 
accidentally overturned it." 

Rosalie spoke in a low voice, and dared not look at her 
father. 

"Take the broom, Rosalie, and sweep up this cream." 

"There is no broom, father." 

"No broom ! there was one when I left the house." 

"I burned it, father, accidentally, by by " 

She paused her father looked fixedly at her, threw a 
searching unquiet glance about the room, sighed and turned 
his steps slowly towards the little house in the garden. 

Rosalie fell sobbing bitterly upon a chair; the mouse 
did not stir. A few moments afterwards, Prudent entered 
hastily, his countenance marked with horror. 

"Rosalie! unhappy child! what have you done? You 
have yielded to your fatal curiosity and released our most 
cruel enemy from prison." 

"Pardon me, father! oh pardon me!" she cried, 
throwing herself at his feet; "I was ignorant of the evil I 
did." 

"Misfortune is always the result of disobedience, 
Rosalie ; disobedient children think they are only committing 



154 



a small fault, when they are doing the greatest injury to 
themselves and others." 

"But, father, who and w r hat then is this mouse, who 
causes you this terrible fear? How, if it had so much power, 
could you keep it so long a prisoner and why can you not 
put it in prison again?" 

"This mouse, my unhappy child, is a wicked fairy, but 
very powerful. For myself, I am the genius Prudent and 
since you have given liberty to my enemy, I can now reveal 
to you that which I should have concealed until you were 
fifteen years old. 

"I am, then, as I said to you, the genius Prudent; your 
dear mother was a simple mortal but her virtues and her 
graces touched the queen of the fairies and also the king of 
the genii and they permitted me to wed her. I gave a splen 
did festival on my marriage-day. Unfortunately I forgot to 
invoke the fairy Detestable, who was already irritated 
against me for having married a princess, after having re 
fused one of her daughters. She was so exasperated against 
me that she swore an implacable hatred against me, my wife 
and my children. I was not terrified at her threats, as I my 
self had a pow r er almost equal to her own and I was much 
beloved by the queen of the fairies. Many times by the 
power of my enchantments, I triumphed over the malicious 
hatred of the fairy Detestable. 

"A few hours after your birth your mother was thrown 



155 



into the most violent convulsions which I could not calm. I 
left her for a few moments to invoke the aid of the queen of 
the fairies. When I returned your mother was dead. 

"The wicked fairy Detestable had profited by my ab 
sence and caused her death. She was about to endow you 
with all the passions and vices of this evil world, when my 
unexpected return happily paralyzed her efforts. I inter 
rupted her at the moment when she had endowed you with a 
curiosity sufficient to make you wretched and to subject you 
entirely to her power at fifteen years of age. By my power, 
united to that of the queen of the fairies, I counter-balanced 
this fatal influence and we decided that you should not fall 
under her power at fifteen years of age, unless you yielded 
three times under the gravest circumstances to your idle 
curiosity. 

"At the same time the queen of the fairies, to punish the 
fairy Detestable, changed her into a mouse, shut her up in 
the little garden house, and declared that she should never 
leave it unless you voluntarily opened the door. Also, that 
she should never resume her original form of fairy unless 
you yielded three times to your criminal curiosity before you 
were fifteen years of age. Lastly, that if you resisted once 
the fatal passion you should be for ever released, as well as 
myself, from the power of the fairy Detestable. 

"With great difficulty I obtained all these favors and 
only by promising that I would share your fate and become, 



156 



like yourself, the slave of the fairy Detestable, if you weakly 
allowed yourself to yield three times to your curiosity. I 
promised solemnly to educate you in such a manner as to 
destroy this terrible passion, calculated to cause so many 
sorrows. 

"For all these reasons I have confined myself and you, 
Rosalie, in this enclosure. I have permitted you to see no 
one, not even a domestic. I procured by my power all that 
your heart desired and I have been feeling quite satisfied in 
having succeeded so well with you. In three weeks you 
would have been fifteen, and for ever delivered from the 
odious yoke of the fairy Detestable. 

"I was alarmed when you asked for the key of the little 
house, of which you had never before seemed to think. I 
could not conceal the painful impression which this demand 
made upon me. My agitation excited your curiosity. In 
spite of your gaiety and assumed thoughtlessness, I pene 
trated your thoughts, and you may judge of my grief when 
the queen of the fairies ordered me to make the temptation 
possible and the resistance meritorious by leaving the key at 
least once in your reach. I was thus compelled to leave it, 
that fatal key, and thus facilitate by my absence my own and 
your destruction. 

"Imagine, Rosalie, what I suffered during the hour of 
my absence, leaving you alone with this temptation before 
your eyes and when I saw your embarrassment and blushes 



157 



on my return, indicating to me too well that you had allowed 
your curiosity to master you. 

"I was commanded to conceal everything from you; to 
tell you nothing of your birth or of the dangers which sur 
round you, until your fifteenth birthday. If I had dis 
obeyed, you would at once have fallen into the power of the 
fairy Detestable. 

"And yet, Rosalie, all is not lost. You can yet repair 
your fault by resisting for fifteen days this terrible passion. 
At fifteen years of age you were to have been united to a 
charming prince, who is related to us, the prince Gracious. 
This union is yet possible. 

"Ah, Rosalie! my still dear child, take pity on yourself, 
if you have no mercy for me and resist your curiosity." 

Rosalie was on her knees before her father, her face 
concealed in her hands and weeping bitterly. At these 
words she took courage, embraced him tenderly and said to 
him: 

"Oh, father! I promise you solemnly that I will atone 
for this fault. Do not leave me, dear father ! With you by 
me, I shall be inspired with a courage which would other 
wise fail me. I dare not be deprived of your wise paternal 
counsel." 

"Alas ! Rosalie ! it is no longer in my power to remain 
with you for I am now under the dominion of my enemy. 
Most certainly she will not allow me to stay by your side and 



158 



warn you against the snares and temptations which she will 
spread at your feet. I am astonished at not having seen my 
cruel foe before this time. The view of my affliction and 
despair w T ould have for her hard heart an irresistible charm." 

"I have been near you all the time, at your daughter's 
feet," said the little gray mouse, in a sharp voice, stepping 
out and showing herself to the unfortunate genius. "I have 
been highly entertained at the recital of all that I have already 
made you suffer, and the pleasure I felt in hearing you give 
this account to your daughter induced me to conceal myself 
till this moment. Now say adieu to your dear but curious 
Rosalie ; she must accompany me, and I forbid you to follow 
her." 

Saying these words, she seized the hem of Rosalie's dress 
with her sharp little teeth and tried to draw her away. 
Rosalie uttered a piercing cry and clung convulsively to her 
father but an irresistible force bore her off. The unfor 
tunate genius seized a stick and raised it to strike the mouse 
but before he had time to inflict the blow the mouse placed 
one of her little paws on the genius's foot and he remained as 
immovable as a statue. Rosalie embraced her father's knees 
and implored the mouse to take pity upon her but the 
little wretch gave one of her sharp, diabolical laughs and 
said : 

"Come, come, my pretty! Pity it is not here that you 
will find the temptations to yield twice to your irresistible 

<$*$$ | |> <f *i* *t* I* 4* 



159 



* * * <ft * * *ft * * + 

fault ! We will travel all over the world together and I will 
show you many countries in fifteen days." 

The mouse pulled Rosalie without ceasing. Her arms 
were still clasped around her father, striving to resist the 
overpowering force of her enemy. The mouse uttered a 
discordant little cry and suddenly the house was in flames. 
Rosalie had sufficient presence of mind to reflect that if she 
allowed herself to be burned there would be no means left of 
saving her father, who must then remain eternally under the 
power of Detestable. Whereas, if she preserved her own 
life there remained always some chance of rescuing him. 

"Adieu, adieu, dear father!" she cried; "we will meet 
again in fifteen days. After having given you over to your 
enemy, your Rosalie will yet save you." 

She then tore herself away, in order not to be devoured 
by the flames. She ran on rapidly for some time without 
knowing where she was going. She walked several hours 
but at last, exhausted with fatigue and half dead with hunger, 
she resolved to approach a kind-looking woman who was 
seated at her door. 

"Madam," said she, "will you give me a place to sleep? 
I am dying with hunger and fatigue. Will you not be so 
kind as to allow me to enter and pass the night with you?" 

"How is it that so beautiful a girl as yourself is found 
upon the highways and what ugly animal is that with the 
expression of a demon which accompanies you." 



160 



Rosalie turned round and saw the little gray mouse 
smiling upon her mockingly. She tried to chase it away but 
the mouse obstinately refused to move. The good woman, 
seeing this contest, shook her head and said : 

"Go on your ways, my pretty one. The Evil One and 
his followers cannot lodge with me." 

Weeping bitterly, Rosalie continued her journey, and 
wherever she presented herself they refused to receive her 
and the mouse, who never quitted her side. She entered a 
forest where happily she found a brook at which she 
quenched her thirst. She found also fruits and nuts in 
abundance. She drank, ate and seated herself near a tree, 
thinking with agony of her father and wondering what 
would become of him during the fifteen days. 

While Rosalie was thus musing she kept her eyes closed 
so as not to see the wicked little gray mouse. Her fatigue, 
and the silence and darkness around her, brought on sleep 
and she slept a long time profoundly. 




161 




THE PRINCE GRACIOUS 

WHILE Rosalie was thus quietly sleeping, the 
prince Gracious was engaged in a hunt 
through the forest by torch-light. The fawn, 
pursued fiercely by the dogs, came trembling with terror to 
crouch down near the brook by which Rosalie was sleeping. 
The dogs and gamekeepers sprang forward after the fawn. 
Suddenly the dogs ceased barking and grouped themselves 
silently around Rosalie. The prince dismounted from his 
horse to set the dogs again upon the trail of the deer but what 
was his surprise to see a lovely young girl asleep in this 
lonely forest ! He looked carefully around but saw no one 
else. She was indeed alone abandoned. On examining 
her more closely, he saw traces of tears upon her cheeks and 
indeed they were still escaping slowly from her closed eye 
lids. 

Rosalie was simply clothed but the richness of her silk 



162 



*| *l* *! 4* ' 4? *t? <fr 4* * *!? 
dress denoted wealth. Her fine white hands, her rosy nails, 
her beautiful chestnut locks, carefully and tastefully ar 
ranged with a gold comb, her elegant boots and necklace of 
pure pearls indicated elevated rank. 

Rosalie did not awake, notwithstanding the stamping of 
the horses, the baying of the dogs and the noisy tumult made 
by a crowd of sportsmen. 

The prince was stupefied and stood gazing steadily at 
Rosalie. No one present recognized her. Anxious and 
disquieted by this profound sleep, Prince Gracious took her 
hand softly. Rosalie still slept. The prince pressed her 
hand lightly in his but even this did not awaken her. 

Turning to his officers, he said: "I cannot thus aban 
don this unfortunate child, who has perhaps been led astray 
by some design, the victim of some cruel wickedness." 

"But how can she be removed while she is asleep, 
prince," said Hubert, his principal gamekeeper, "can we not 
make a litter of branches and thus remove her to some hostel 
in the neighborhood w 7 hile your highness continues the 
chase?" 

"Your idea is good, Hubert. Make the litter and we 
will immediately place her upon it, only you will not carry 
her to a hostel, but to my palace. This young maiden is 
assuredly of high birth, and she is beautiful as an angel. I 
will watch over her myself, so that she may receive the care 
and attention to which she is entitled." 



163 



Hubert, with the assistance of his men, soon arranged 
the litter upon which Prince Gracious spread his mantle; 
then approaching Rosalie, who was still sleeping softly, he 
raised her gently in his arms and laid her upon the cloak. 
At this moment Rosalie seemed to be dreaming. She smiled 
and murmured, in low tones : 

"My father! my father! saved for ever! The Queen of 
the Fairies! The Prince Gracious! I see him; he is 
charming!" 

The prince, surprised to hear his name pronounced, did 
not doubt that Rosalie was a princess under some cruel en 
chantment. He commanded his gamekeepers to walk very 
softly so as not to wake her and he walked by the side of the 
litter. 

On arriving at the palace, Prince Gracious ordered that 
the queen's apartment should be prepared for Rosalie. He 
suffered no one to touch her but carried her himself to her 
chamber and laid her gently upon the bed, ordering the 
women who were to wait upon and watch over her to apprise 
him as soon as she awaked. Then, casting a farewell look 
upon the sad, sweet face of the sleeper, he strode from the 
room. 

Rosalie slept tranquilly until morning. The sun was 
shining brightly when she awoke. She looked about her 
with great surprise. The wicked mouse was not near her 
to terrify her it had happily disappeared. 



164 



"Am I delivered from this wicked fairy Detestable?" 
said she, joyfully. "Am I in the hands of a fairy more 
powerful than herself?" 

Rosalie now stepped to the window and saw many armed 
men and many officers, dressed in brilliant uniforms. More 
and more surprised, she was about to call one of the men, 
whom she believed to be either genii or enchanters, when she 
heard footsteps approaching. She turned and saw the 
prince Gracious, clothed in an elegant and rich hunting- 
dress, standing before her and regarding her with admira 
tion. Rosalie immediately recognized the prince of her 
dream and cried out involuntarily: 

"The prince Gracious !" 

"You know me then?" said the prince, in amazement. 
"How, if you have ever known me, could I have forgotten 
your name and features?" 

"I have only seen you in my dreams, prince," said 
Rosalie, blushing. "As to my name, you could not possibly 
know it, since I myself did not know my father's name until 
yesterday." 

"And what is the name, may I ask, which has been con 
cealed from you so long?" 

Rosalie then told him all that she had heard from her 
father. She frankly confessed her culpable curiosity and its 
terrible consequences. 

"Judge of my grief, prince, when I was compelled to 



165 



leave my father in order to escape from the flames which the 
wicked fairy had lighted; when, rejected everywhere because 
of the wicked mouse, I found myself exposed to death from 
hunger and thirst ! Soon, however, a heavy sleep took pos 
session of me, during which I had many strange dreams. I 
do not know how I came here or whether it is in your palace 
that I find myself." 

Gracious then related to Rosalie how he had found her 
asleep in the forest and the words which he had heard her 
utter in her dream. He then added : 

"There is one thing your father did not tell you, Rosalie ; 
that is, that the queen of the fairies, who is our relation, had 
decided that we should be married when you were fifteen 
years of age. It was no doubt the queen of the fairies who 
inspired me with the desire to go hunting by torchlight, in 
order that I might find you in the forest where you had wan 
dered. Since you will be fifteen in a few days, Rosalie, 
deign to consider my palace as your own and command here 
in advance, as my queen. Your father will soon be restored 
to you and we will celebrate our happy marriage." 

Rosalie thanked her young and handsome cousin 
heartily and then returned to her chamber, where she found 
her maids awaiting her with a wonderful selection of rich 
and splendid robes and head-dresses. Rosalie, who had 
never given much attention to her toilet, took the first dress 
that was presented to her. It was of rose-colored gauze, 



166 



ornamented with fine lace with a head-dress of lace and moss 
rosebuds. Her beautiful chestnut hair was arranged in 
bands, forming a crown. When her toilet was completed, 
the prince came to conduct her to breakfast. 

Rosalie ate like a person who had not dined the day be 
fore. After the repast, the prince led her to the garden and 
conducted her to the green-houses, which were very mag 
nificent. At the end of one of the hot-houses there was a 
little rotunda, ornamented with choice flowers ; in the centre 
of this rotunda there was a large case which seemed to con 
tain a tree but a thick heavy cloth was thrown over it and 
tightly sewed together. Through the cloth however could 
be seen a number of points of extraordinary brilliancy. 




167 




THE TREE IN THE ROTUNDA 

ROSALIE admired all the flowers very much but 
she waited with some impatience for the prince to 
remove the cloth which enveloped this mysterious 
tree. He left the green-house, however, without having 
spoken of it. 

"What then, my prince, is this tree which is so carefully 
concealed?" 

"It is the wedding present which I destine for you but 
you cannot see it until your fifteenth birthday," said the 
prince, gayly. 

"But what is it that shines so brilliantly under the 
cloth?" said she, importunately. 

"You will know all in a few days, Rosalie, and I flatter 
myself that you will not find my present a common affair." 

ft* 4 - 4 <fr xfr 4* 4 4> i 4 

JK K - ] V V V V ~ 9 - V . - V 



168 



"And can I not see it before my birthday?" 

"No, Rosalie; the queen of the fairies has forbidden me, 
under heavy penalties, to show it to you until after you be 
come my wife. I do hope that you love me enough to con 
trol your curiosity till that time." 

These last words made Rosalie tremble, for they recalled 
to her the little gray mouse and the misfortunes which 
menaced her as well as her father, if she allowed herself to 
fall under the temptation, which, without doubt, her enemy 
the fairy Detestable had placed before her. She spoke no 
more of the mysterious case, and continued her walk with 
the prince. The day passed most agreeably. The prince 
presented her to the ladies of his court and commanded them 
to honor and respect in her the princess Rosalie, whom the 
queen of the fairies had selected as his bride. Rosalie was 
very amiable to every one and they all rejoiced in the idea of 
having so charming and lovely a queen. 

The following days were passed in every species of 
festivity. The prince and Rosalie both saw with joyous 
hearts the approach of the birth-day which was to be also that 
of their marriage : the prince, because he tenderly loved his 
cousin, and Rosalie because she loved the prince, because she 
desired strongly to see her father again, and also because she 
hoped to see what the case in the rotunda contained. She 
thought of this incessantly. She dreamed of it during the 
night and whenever she was alone she could with difficulty 



169 



restrain herself from rushing to the green-house to try to dis 
cover the secret. 

Finally, the last day of anticipation and anxiety arrived. 
In the morning Rosalie would be fifteen. The prince was 
much occupied with the preparations for his marriage; it 
was to be a very grand affair. All the good fairies of his 
acquaintance were to be present as well as the queen of the 
fairies. Rosalie found herself alone in the morning and she 
resolved to take a walk. While musing upon the happiness 
of the morrow, she involuntarily approached the green 
house. She entered, smiling pensively, and found herself 
face to face with the cloth which covered the treasure. 

"To-morrow," said she, "I shall at last know what this 
thick cloth conceals from me. If I wished, indeed I might 
see it to-day, for I plainly perceive some little openings in 
which I might insert my fingers and by enlarging just a 

little . In fact, who would ever know it? I would sew 

the cloth after having taken a glimpse. Since to-morrow is 
so near, when I am to see all, I may as well take a glance 
to-day." 

Rosalie looked about her and saw no one; and, in her 
extreme desire to gratify her curiosity, she forgot the good 
ness of the prince and the dangers which menaced them all 
if she yielded to this temptation. 

She passed her fingers through the little apertures and 
strained them lightly. The cloth was rent from the top to 



170 



the bottom with a noise like thunder and Rosalie saw before 
her eyes a tree of marvellous beauty, with a coral trunk and 
leaves of emeralds. The seeming fruits which covered the 
tree were of precious stones of all colors diamonds, sap 
phires, pearls, rubies, opals, topazes, all as large as the 
fruits they were intended to represent and of such brilliancy 
that Rosalie was completely dazzled by them. But scarcely 
had she seen this rare and unparalleled tree, when a noise 
louder than the first drew her from her ecstasy. She felt 
herself lifted up and transported to a vast plain, from which 
she saw the palace of the king falling in ruins and heard the 
most frightful cries of terror and suffering issue from its 
walls. Soon Rosalie saw the prince himself creep from the 
ruins bleeding and his clothing almost torn from him. He 
advanced towards her and said sadly : 

"Rosalie! ungrateful Rosalie! see what you have done 
to me, not only to me, but to my whole court. After what 
you have done, I do not doubt that you will yield a third time 
to your curiosity; that you will complete my misfortunes, 
those of your unhappy father and your own. Adieu, 
Rosalie, adieu ! May sincere repentance atone for your in 
gratitude towards an unhappy prince who loved you and 
only sought to make you happy !" 

Saying these words, he withdrew slowly. 

Rosalie threw herself upon her knees, bathed in tears 
and called him tenderly but he disappeared without ever 



171 



turning to contemplate her despair. Rosalie was about to 
faint away, when she heard the little discordant laugh of the 
gray mouse and saw it before her. 

"Your thanks are due to me, my dear Rosalie, for having 
assisted you so well. It was I who sent you those bewitching 
dreams of the mysterious tree during the night. It was I 
who nibbled the cloth, to help you in your wish to look in. 
Without this last artifice of mine, I believe I should have 
lost you, as well as your father and your prince Gracious. 
One more slip, my pet, and you will be my slave for ever !" 

The cruel mouse, in her malicious joy, began to dance 
around Rosalie; her words, wicked as they were, did not ex 
cite the anger of the guilty girl. 

"This is all my fault," said she; "had it not been for my 
fatal curiosity and my base ingratitude, the gray mouse 
would not have succeeded in making me yield so readily to 
temptation. I must atone for all this by my sorrow, by my 
patience and by the firmness with which I will resist the third 
proof to which I am subjected, no matter how difficult it may 
be. Besides, I have but a few hours to wait and my dear 
prince has told me that his happiness and that of my dearly 
loved father and my own, depends upon myself." 

Before her lay the smouldering ruins of the palace of the 
Prince Gracious. So complete had been its destruction that 
a cloud of dust and smoke hung over it, and hardly one stone 
remained upon another. The cries of those in pain were 



172 



borne to her ears and added to her bitterness of feeling. 
Rosalie continued to lie prone on the ground. The 
gray mouse employed every possible means to induce her to 
move from the spot. Rosalie, the poor, unhappy and guilty 
Rosalie, persisted in remaining in view of the ruin she had 
caused. 




173 




' ' TT \ 



THE CASKET 

THUS passed the entire day. Rosalie suffered 
cruelly with thirst. 
"Ought I not suffer even more than I do?" she 
said to herself, "in order to punish me for all I have made my 
father and my cousin endure? I will await in this terrible 
spot the dawning of my fifteenth birthday." 

The night was falling when an old woman who was 
passing by, approached and said : 

"My beautiful child, will you oblige me by taking care 
of this casket, which is very heavy to carry, while I go a short 
distance to see one of my relations?" 

"Willingly, madam," replied Rosalie, who was very 
obliging. The old woman placed the casket in her hands, 
saying : 



174 



"Many thanks, my beautiful child! I shall not be ab 
sent long. But I entreat you not to look in this casket, for it 
contains things things such as you have never seen and 
as you will never have an opportunity to see again. Do not 
handle it rudely, for it is of very fragile ware and would be 
very easily broken and then you would see what it contains 
and no one ought to see what is there concealed." 

The old woman went off after saying this. Rosalie 
placed the casket near her and reflected on all the events 
which had just passed. It was now night and the old woman 
did not return. Rosalie now threw her eyes on the casket 
and saw with surprise that it illuminated the ground all 
around her. 

"What can there be in this casket which is so 
brilliant?" said she. 

She turned it round and round and regarded it from 
every side but nothing could explain this extraordinary light 
and she placed it carefully upon the ground, saying : 

"Of what importance is it to me what this casket con 
tains? It is not mine but belongs to the old woman who 
confided it to me. I will not think of it again for fear I may 
be tempted to open it." 

In fact, she no longer looked at it and endeavored not 
to think of it; she now closed her eyes, resolved to wait 
patiently till the dawn. 

"In the morning I shall be fifteen years of age. I shall 



175 



4 4* 4 4* 4* 4* 1 4* 4 4 4* 

&5%5?.x*Jt?-x*xi*&ifL 

see my father and Gracious and will have nothing more to 
fear from the wicked fairy." 

"Rosalie! Rosalie!" said suddenly the small voice of the 
little mouse, "I am near you once more. I am no longer 
your enemy and to prove that I am not, if you wish it, I will 
show you what this casket contains." 

Rosalie did not reply. 

"Rosalie, do you not hear what I propose? I am your 
friend, believe me." 

No reply. 

Then the little gray mouse, having no time to lose, 
sprang upon the casket and began to gnaw the lid. 

"Monster!" cried Rosalie, seizing the casket and press 
ing it against her bosom, "if you touch this casket again I 
will wring your neck." 

The mouse cast a diabolical glance upon Rosalie but it 
dared not brave her anger. While it was meditating some 
other means of exciting the curiosity of Rosalie, a clock 
struck twelve. At the same moment the mouse uttered a cry 
of rage and disappointment and said to Rosalie : 

"Rosalie, the hour of your birth has just sounded. You 
are now fifteen; you have nothing more to fear from me. 
You are now beyond my power and my temptations as are 
also your odious father and hated prince. As to myself, I 
am compelled to keep this ignoble form of a mouse until I 
can tempt some young girl beautiful and well born as your- 



176 



self to fall into my snares. Adieu, Rosalie! you can now 
open the casket." 

Saying these words, the mouse disappeared. 

Rosalie, wisely distrusting these words of her enemy, 
would not follow her last counsel, and resolved to guard the 
casket carefully till the dawn. Scarcely had she taken this 
resolution, when an owl, which was flying above her head, 
let a stone fall upon the casket, which broke into a thousand 
pieces. Rosalie uttered a cry of terror and at the same 
moment she saw before her the queen of the fairies, who 
said : 

"Come Rosalie, you have finally triumphed over the 
cruel enemy of your family. I will now restore you to your 
father but first you must eat and drink, as you are much 
exhausted/' 

The fairy now presented her with a rare fruit, of which a 
single mouthful satisfied both hunger and thirst. Then a 
splendid chariot, drawn by two dragons, drew up before the 
fairy. She entered and commanded Rosalie to do the same. 
Rosalie, as soon as she recovered from her surprise, thanked 
the queen of the fairies with all her heart for her protection 
and asked if she was not to see her father and the prince 
Gracious. 

"Your father awaits you in the palace of the prince." 

"But, madam, I thought that the palace of the prince 
was destroyed and he himself wounded sadly?" 
& 4 s .K .;-. 4* 4* 4* 4* 4* 4* 

* ^ ** ^ *f- V> ^ *f* & W- 



177 



"That, Rosalie, was only an illusion to fill you with 
horror and remorse at the result of your curiosity and to pre 
vent you from falling before the third temptation. You 
will soon see the palace of the prince just as it was before you 
tore the cloth which covered the precious tree he destined for 
you." 

As the fairy said this the chariot drew up before the 
palace steps. Rosalie's father and the prince were awaiting 
her with all the court. Rosalie first threw herself in her 
father's arms, then in those of the prince, who seemed to have 
no remembrance of the fault she had committed the day be 
fore. All was ready for the marriage ceremony which was 
to be celebrated immediately. All the good fairies assisted 
at this festival which lasted several days. 

Rosalie's father lived with his child and she was com 
pletely cured of her curiosity. She was tenderly loved by 
Prince Gracious whom she loved fondly all her life. They 
had beautiful children, for whom they chose powerful fairies 
as godmothers in order that they might be protected against 
the wicked fairies and genii. 





wso 



179 




OURSON 
THE LARK AND THE TOAD 

THERE was once a pretty woman named Agnella, 
who cultivated a farm. She lived alone with a 
young servant named Passerose. The farm was 
small but beautiful and in fine order. She had a most charm 
ing cow, which gave a quantity of milk, a cat to destroy the 
mice and an ass to carry her fruit, butter, vegetables, eggs, 
and cheese to markets every Wednesday. 

No one knew up to that time how Agnella and Passe- 
rose had arrived at this unknown farm which received in the 
county the name of the Woodland Farm. 

One evening Passerose was busy milking the pretty 
white cow while Agnella prepared the supper. At the mo 
ment she was placing some good soup and a plate of cream 

el* e** .?- ews - J- e*s e#> * ** * 



181 



upon the table, she saw an enormous toad devouring with 
avidity some cherries which had been put on the ground in a 
vine-leaf. 

"Ugly toad!" exclaimed Agnella, "I will teach you how 
to eat my cherries!" At the same moment she lifted the 
leaves which contained the cherries, and gave the toad a kick 
which dashed it off about ten steps. She was about to throw 
it from the door, when the toad uttered a sharp whistle and 
raised itself upon its hind legs ; its great eyes were flashing, 
and its enormous mouth opening and shutting with rage, its 
whole ugly body was trembling and from its quivering throat 
was heard a terrible bellowing. 

Agnella paused in amazement; she recoiled, indeed, to 
avoid the venom of the monstrous and enraged toad. She 
looked around for a broom to eject this hideous monster, 
when the toad advanced towards her, made with its fore paws 
a gesture of authority, and said in a voice trembling with 
rage : 

"You have dared to touch me with your foot! You 
have prevented me from satisfying my appetite with the 
cherries which you had placed within my reach ! You have 
tried to expel me from your house! My vengeance shall 
reach you and will fall upon that which you hold most dear ! 
You shall know and feel that the fairy Furious is not to be 
insulted with impunity. You shall have a son, covered with 
coarse hair like a bear's cub and " 



182 



"Stop, sister," interrupted a small voice, sweet and flute- 
like, which seemed to come from above. Agnella raised her 
head and saw a lark perched on the top of the front door. 
"You revenge yourself too cruelly for an injury inflicted, 
not upon you in your character of a fairy but upon the ugly 
and disgusting form in which it has pleased you to disguise 
yourself. By my power, which is superior to yours, I forbid 
you to exaggerate the evil which you have already done in 
your blind rage and which, alas! it is not in my power to 
undo. And you, poor mother," she continued, turning to 
Agnella, "do not utterly despair ; there is a possible remedy 
for the deformity of your child. I will accord to him the 
power of changing his skin with any one whom he may, by 
his goodness and service rendered, inspire with sufficient 
gratitude and affection to consent to the change. He will 
then resume the handsome form which would have been his 
if my sister, the fairy Furious, had not given you this terrible 
proof of her malice and cruelty." 

"Alas ! madam Lark," replied Agnella, "all this good 
ness cannot prevent my poor, unhappy son from being dis 
gusting and like a wild beast. His very playmates will shun 
him as a monster." 

"That is true," replied the fairy Drolette; "and the more 
so as it is forbidden to yourself or to Passerose to change 
skins with him. But I will neither abandon you nor your 
son. You will name him Ourson until the day when he can 



183 



4 4 4 4 4 4* 4* 4 4 4* 

*f- *> >- *> ->> JQ. jgt 4jt j Jgt 

assume a name worthy of his birth and beauty. He must 
then be called the prince Marvellous." 

Saying these words, the fairy flew lightly through the 
air and disappeared from sight. 

The fairy Furious withdrew, filled with rage, walking 
slowly and turning every instant to gaze at Agnella with a 
menacing air. As she moved slowly along, she spat her 
venom from side to side and the grass, the plants and the 
bushes perished along her course. This was a venom so 
subtle that nothing could ever flourish on the spot again and 
the path is called to this day the Road of the Fairy Furious. 

When Agnella found herself alone, she began to sob. 
Passerose, who had finished her work and saw the hour of 
supper approaching, entered the dining-room and with great 
surprise saw her mistress in tears. 

"Dear queen, what is the matter? Who can have 
caused you this great grief? I have seen no one enter the 
house." 

"No one has entered, my dear, except those who enter 
everywhere. A wicked fairy under the form of a toad and 
a good fairy under the appearance of a lark." 

"And what have these fairies said to you, my queen, to 
make you weep so piteously? Has not the good fairy in 
terfered to prevent the misfortunes which the wicked fairy 
wished to bring about?" 

"No, my dear friend. She has somewhat lightened 



184 




Agnella and Passerose were dashed from cloud to cloud 

them but it was not in her power to set them aside altogether." 
Agnella then recounted all that had taken place and that 
she would have a son with a skin like a bear. At this narra 
tive Passerose wept as bitterly as her mistress. 

"What a misfortune !" she exclaimed. "What degrada 
tion and shame, that the heir of a great kingdom should be a 
bear! What will King Ferocious, your husband, say if he 
should ever discover us?" 



185 



"And how will he ever find us, Passerose? You know 
that after our flight we were swept away by a whirlwind and 
dashed from cloud to cloud for twelve hours with such 
astonishing rapidity that we found ourselves more than three 
thousand leagues from the kingdom of Ferocious. Besides, 
you know his wickedness. You know how bitterly he hates 
me since I prevented him from killing his brother Indolent 
and his sister Nonchalante. You know that I fled because 
he wished to kill me also. I have no reason to fear that he 
will pursue me for I am sure that he will wish never to see 
me again." 

Passerose, after having wept and sobbed some time with 
the queen Aimee, for that was her true name, now entreated 
her mistress to be seated at the table. 

"If we wept all night, dear queen, we could not prevent 
your son from being shaggy but we will endeavor to educate 
him so well, to make him so good, that he will not be a long 
time in finding some good and grateful soul who will ex 
change a white skin for this hairy one which the evil fairy 
Furious has put upon him. A beautiful present indeed! 
She would have done well to reserve it for herself." 

The poor queen, whom we will continue to call Agnella 
for fear of giving information to King Ferocious, rose 
slowly, dried her eyes and succeeded in somewhat overcom 
ing her sadness. Little by little the gay and cheering con 
versation of Passerose dissipated her forebodings. Before 



1 86 



the close of the evening, Passerose had convinced her that 
Ourson would not remain a long time a bear; that he would 
soon resume a form worthy of a noble prince. That she 
would herself indeed be most happy to exchange with him, if 
the fairy would permit it. 

Agnella and Passerose now retired to their chambers 
and slept peacefully. 





BIRTH AND INFANCY OF OURSON 

THREE months after the appearance of the toad and 
the cruel sentence of the fairy Furious, Agnella 
gave birth to a boy whom she named Ourson, as 
the fairy Drolette had commanded. Neither Agnella nor 
Passerose could decide if he was ugly or handsome for he 
was so hairy, so covered with long brown bristles, you could 
see nothing but his eyes and his mouth, and not even these 
unless he opened them. 

If Agnella had not been his mother and if Passerose had 
not loved her like a sister, poor Ourson would have died from 
neglect for he was so frightful no one would have dared to 
touch him he would have been taken for a little cub and 
killed with pitchforks. But Agnella was his mother and her 
first movement was to embrace him lovingly and, bathed in 
tears, to exclaim : 

"Poor little Ourson ! who can ever love you well enough 
$ 4* 4 4> 4 4* 4* ft 4 <|i 

^ v .^F. v ~9 P . v JVT * -jp 



188 



to deliver you from this horrible curse? Alas ! why will not 
the fairy permit me to make this exchange, which is allowed 
to another who may love you? No one can ever love you as 
I do." 

Ourson did not reply to these endearments; he slept 
peacefully. 

Passerose wept also in sympathy with Agnella but she 
was not in the habit of afflicting herself for a long time on any 
occasion so she dried her eyes and said to Agnella : 

u Dear queen, I am very certain that your dear son will 
be clothed but a short time with this villainous bear-skin and 
from this day I shall call him Prince Marvellous." 

"I beseech you not to do so," said the queen, anxiously; 
"you know that the fairies love to be obeyed." 

Passerose took the child, clothed it in the linen that had 
been prepared for it and leaned over to embrace it but she 
pricked her lips against the rough bristles of Ourson and 
drew back precipitately. 

"It will not be I who will embrace you frequently, my 
boy," said she, in a low voice ; "you prick like a real hedge- 
hog." 

It was Passerose, however, to whom Agnella gave the 
charge of the little Ourson. He had nothing of the bear but 
his skin: he was the sweetest-tempered, the most knowing, 
the most affectionate child that ever was seen. Passerose 
soon loved him with all her heart. 



189 



As Ourson grew up he was sometimes permitted to leave 
the farm. He was in no danger for no one knew him in the 
country. The children always ran away at his approach 
and the women repulsed him. Men avoided him they 
looked upon him as something accursed. Sometimes when 
Agnella went to market she put him on her donkey and took 
him with her and on those days she found more difficulty in 
selling her vegetables and cheese. The mothers fled from 
her, fearing that Ourson would come too near them. 

Agnella wept often and vainly implored the fairy 
Drolette. Whenever a lark flew near her, hope was born in 
her breast. But the larks, alas, were real larks, fit only to 
make pies and not fairies in disguise. 




190 




VIOLETTE 

OJJRSON at eight years of age was tall and strong, 
with magnificent eyes and a sweet voice ; his bristles 
were no longer stiff but his hair was soft as silk and 
those who loved him could embrace him without being 
scratched, as Passerose had been the day of his birth. Our- 
son loved his mother tenderly and Passerose almost as well 
but he was often alone and very sad. He saw too well the 
horror he inspired and he saw also that he was unlike other 
children. 

One day he was walking along a beautiful road which 
bordered on the farm. He had walked a long time and over 
come with heat and fatigue he looked about him for some 
fresh and quiet spot for repose when he thought he saw a 
little object, fair and rosy, a few steps from him. Drawing 
near with precaution he saw a little girl asleep. She seemed 
to be about three years old and she was beautiful as the Loves 



191 



and Graces. Her blonde hair partly covered her fair and 
dimpled shoulders while her soft cheeks were round and 
fresh and dimpled and a half smile played upon her rosy and 
parted lips, through which small teeth, white and even as 
pearls, could be seen. Her charming head was reposing 
upon a lovely rounded arm and the little hand was beautifully 
formed and white as snow. The attitude of this little girl 
was so graceful, so enchanting, that Ourson stood before 
her immovable with admiration. He watched with as much 
surprise as pleasure, this child sleeping as soundly and peace 
fully in the wood as if she had been at home in her own little 
bed. Ourson looked at her a long time and examined her 
toilet which was more rich and elegant than anything he had 
ever seen. Her dress was of white silk embroidered in gold ; 
her boots were of blue satin also embroidered in gold; her 
stockings were silk and fine as a spider's web ; magnificent 
bracelets were sparkling upon her arms and the clasp seemed 
to contain her portrait ; a string of beautiful pearls encircled 
her throat. 

A lark now commenced its song just above the lovely 
little girl and awakened her from her profound slumber. 
She looked about her, called her nurse but finding herself 
alone in the woods, began to weep bitterly. 

Ourson was much affected at her tears and his embar 
rassment was very great. 

"If I show myself," said he to himself, "this poor little 



192 



one will take me for some wild beast of the forest. If she 
sees me she will be terrified ; she will take to flight and wander 
still further from her home. If I leave her here, she will die 
of terror and hunger. What shall I do !" 

Whilst Ourson reflected thus, the little girl turned 
around, saw him, uttered a cry of alarm, tried to flee and fell 
back in a panic. 

"Do not fly from me, dear little one," said Ourson, in 
his sad, soft voice; "I would not injure you for the whole 
world; on the contrary, I will assist you to find your father 
and mother." 

The child gazed at him with staring eyes and seemed 
much alarmed. 

"Speak to me, little one," said Ourson; "I am not a bear, 
as you might suppose, but a poor and most unfortunate little 
boy, who inspires every one with terror and whom every 
body avoids." 

The sweet child's eyes became calmer and softer, her 
fear seemed melting away and she looked undecided. 

Ourson took one step towards her but she became 
greatly frightened, uttered a sharp cry and tried again to rise 
and run off. Ourson paused and began to weep bitterly. 

"Unfortunate wretch that I am," he said; "I cannot even 
assist this poor lost child. My appearance fills her with ter 
ror ! She would rather be lost than have help from me !" 

So saying, poor Ourson covered his face with his hands 

***.*.**.** 4 :,<$ 



193 



and sobbing piteously threw himself on the ground. A few 
moments afterwards he felt a little hand seeking to take pos 
session of his own. He raised his head and saw the child 
standing before him, her eyes filled with tears. She caressed 
and patted the hairy cheeks of poor Ourson. 

"Don't cry, little cub, don't cry," said she. "Violette is 
no longer afraid, she will not run away again. Violette will 
love poor little cub. Won't little cub give his hand to Vio 
lette? And if you cry again, Violette will embrace you, 
poor little cub." 

Tears of happiness and tenderness succeeded those of 
despair in Ourson. Violette, seeing that he was again weep 
ing, approached her soft rosy lips to Ourson's hairy cheek 
and gave him several kisses. 

"You see, little cub, that Violette is no longer afraid. 
Violette kisses you ! The little cub won't eat Violette she 
will follow you !" 

If Ourson had followed the dictates of his heart, he 
would have pressed her to his bosom and covered with kisses 
the good and charming child who overcame her natural ter 
ror in order to assuage the grief and mortification of a poor 
being whom she saw unfortunate and miserable. But he 
feared to arouse her terrors. 

"She would think that I was about to devour her," he 
said. 

He contented himself, therefore, with clasping her 



194 



hands softly, and kissing them delicately. Violette per 
mitted this smilingly. 

"Now little cub is satisfied. Little cub will love Vio 
lette; poor Violette, who is lost!" 

Ourson understood well that her name was Violette ; but 
he could not comprehend how this little girl, so richly clad, 
was left alone in the forest. 

"Where do you live, my dear little Violette?" 

"Yonder yonder with papa and mamma." 

"What is the name of your papa?" 

"He is the king and dear mamma is the queen." 

Ourson was more and more surprised and asked: 

"Why are you alone in this forest?" 

"Violette doesn't know. Poor Violette rode on a big 
dog he ran, oh ! so fast so fast, a long time ! Violette was 
so tired, she fell down and slept!" 

"And the dog, where is he?" 

Violet turned in every direction and called softly : 

"Ami! Ami!" 

No dog appeared. 

"Alas ! Ami has gone ! Poor Violette is alone alone !" 

Ourson took Violence's hand and she did not withdraw it 
but smiled sweetly. 

"Shall I go and seek mamma, Violette?" 

"No, no ! Violette cannot stay all alone in this wood. 
Violette will go." 



i95 



"Come, then, with me, dear little girl. I will take you 
to my mother." 

Ourson and Violette now turned their steps towards the 
farm. Ourson gathered strawberries and cherries for Vio 
lette, who would not touch them till Ourson had eaten half. 
When she found that he still held his half in his hand, she 
took them, and placed them herself in his mouth, saying : 

"Eat eat, little cub. Violette will not eat unless you 
eat. Violette cannot have little cub unhappy. Violette will 
not see you weep." 

She looked at him to see if he was content and happy. 
Ourson was really happy. He saw that his good and pretty 
little companion not only tolerated him but was interested in 
him and sought to make herself agreeable. His eyes were 
sparkling with joy, his voice, always soft and sad, was now 
tender. After half an hour's walk, he said to her : 

"Violette, you are no longer afraid of poor Ourson, are 
you?" 

"Oh! no, no, no!" exclaimed she. "Ourson is good 
Violette will not leave him." 

"You are willing, then, that I shall embrace you? you 
are no longer afraid of me?" 

Violette, without further reply, threw herself in his 
arms. Ourson embraced her tenderly and pressed her to his 
heart. 

"Dear Violette, I will always love you. I will never 



196 



forget that you are the only child who was ever willing to 
speak to me, touch me or embrace me." 

A short time after they arrived at the farm. Agnella 
and Passerose were seated at the door, talking together. 
When they saw Ourson arrive holding a little girl richly 
dressed by the hand, they were so surprised that neither could 
utter a word. 

"Dear mamma, here is a good and charming little girl 
whom I found sleeping in the forest. She is called Violette. 
She is very well bred and is not afraid of me. She even em 
braced me when she saw me weeping." 

"And why did you weep, my poor boy?" said Agnella. 

"Because the little girl was afraid of me," said Ourson, 
in a sad and trembling voice, "and hurt herself when trying 
to run away from me." 

"Violette is not afraid now," said she, interrupting him 
hastily. "Violette gave her hand to poor Ourson, embraced 
him and fed him with cherries and strawberries." 

"But what is all this about?" said Passerose. "Why has 
our Ourson the charge of this little girl? why was she alone 
in the wood? who is she? Answer, Ourson, I do not under 
stand this." 

"I know nothing more than yourself, dear Passerose," 
said Ourson. "I saw this little child asleep in the wood all 
alone. She awoke and began to weep. Suddenly she saw 
me and cried out in terror. I spoke to her and began to ap- 



197 



proach her; but she screamed again with fright. I was sor 
rowful oh ! so very sorrowful ! I wept bitterly." 

"Hush! hush! poor Ourson," exclaimed Violette, put 
ting her little hand on his mouth; "Violette will certainly 
never make you cry again." 

While saying these words Violette's voice was trembling 
and her sweet eyes were full of tears. 

"Good little girl!" said Agnella, embracing her; "you 
love our poor Ourson, who is so unhappy!" 

"Oh, yes! Violette loves Ourson will always love Our 
son!" 

Agnella and Passerose asked Violette many questions 
about her father, mother and country; but they could learn 
nothing more from her than she had already told Ourson. 
Her father was a king, her mother a queen and she did not 
know how she came to be alone in the forest. 

Agnella did not hesitate to take under her protection this 
poor lost child. She loved her already because of the affec 
tion the little one seemed to entertain for Ourson and because 
of the happiness Ourson's whole manner expressed on seeing 
himself loved by some one else than his mother and Passe 
rose. 

It was now the hour for supper. Passerose laid the 
cloth and they all took their seats at the table. Violette asked 
to be put at Ourson's side. She was gay and laughed and 
talked merrily. Ourson was more happy than he had ever 

Af f*JjQ f\Jft CwT fwT fw+ fWT TwT ffwT g*wf 



198 



f <* * * + * *ft> * + * 

been. Agnella was contented and Passerose jumped for joy 
on seeing a little playmate for her dear Ourson. In her 
transports she spilled a pan of cream which was not lost, how 
ever, as a cat came and licked it up to the last drop. After 
supper, Violette fell asleep in her chair. 

"Where shall we lay her?" said Agnella. "I have no 
bed for her." 

"Give her mine, dear mamma," said Ourson; "I can 
sleep quite as well in the stable." 

Agnella and Passerose at first refused but Ourson in 
sisted so much upon being allowed to make this little sacri 
fice, that they at last consented. Passerose carried Violette 
still sleeping in her arms, undressed her without awaking 
her and laid her quietly in Ourson's bed, near that of 
Agnella. Ourson went to sleep in the stable on the bun 
dles of hay. He slept peacefully with content in his 
heart. 

Passerose rejoined Agnella in the parlor. She found 
her meditating, with her head resting on her hand. 

"Of what are you thinking, dear queen?" said she; 
"your eyes are sad, your lips do not smile. I am come to 
show you the bracelets of the little stranger. This medallion 
ought to open but I have tried in vain to open it. Perhaps 
we shall find here a portrait or a name." 

"Give it to me, my child. These bracelets are beautiful ; 
they may aid us, perhaps, in finding a resemblance which 



199 



fc 4 4 * 4 4* <fr 4 <fr- -4* 

Jot*vwv*vw.ot 

presents itself vaguely to my remembrance and which I am 
trying in vain to make clear." 

Agnella took the bracelets and turned them from side 
to side and pressed them in every way, trying to open the me 
dallion, but she succeeded no better than Passerose had done. 

At the moment when, weary of her vain efforts, she re 
turned them to Passerose, she saw in the middle of the room 
a woman glittering as the sun; her face was of dazzling 
whiteness, her hair seemed made of threads of gold and a 
crown of glittering stars adorned her brow. Her waist was 
small and her person seemed transparent, it was so delicate 
and luminous ; her floating robe was studded with stars like 
those which formed her crown. Her glance was soft yet she 
smiled maliciously but still with goodness. 

"Madam," said she to Agnella, "you see in me the fairy 
Drolette, the protectress of your son and of the little princess 
whom he brought home this morning from the forest. This 
princess is nearly related to you for she is your niece the 
daughter of your brother-in-law Indolent and sister-in-law 
Nonchalante. Your husband succeeded after your flight in 
killing Indolent and Nonchalante, who did not distrust him 
and who passed all their time in sleeping, eating and loung 
ing. Unfortunately, I could not prevent this crime as I 
was absent assisting at the birth of a prince whose parents 
are under my protection, and I forgot myself while playing 
tricks upon a wicked old maid of honor and an old chamber- 

********** 



200 



lain who was cruel and avaricious, both of them friends of 
my sister, the fairy Furious. But I arrived in time to save 
the princess Violette, only daughter and heiress of King In 
dolent and Queen Nonchalante. She was playing in the 
garden while the king Ferocious was seeking her with his 
poniard in his hand. I induced her to mount on the back 
of my dog Ami, who was ordered to leave her in the forest 
and to that point I directed the steps of the prince your son. 
Conceal from both of them their birth and your own and do 
not allow Violette to see these bracelets, which contain the 
portraits of her father and mother, nor the rich clothing 
which I have replaced by other articles better suited to the 
quiet existence she will lead here. I have here/' said the 
fairy, "a casket of precious stones. It contains the happiness 
of Violette but you must hide them from all eyes and not 
open the casket until she shall have been lost and found." 

"I will execute your orders most faithfully, madam, but 
I pray you tell me if my unhappy son must long wear his 
frightful covering." 

"Patience ! patience !" cried the fairy, "I watch over you, 
over Violette and over your son. Inform Ourson of the fac 
ulty he has of exchanging his skin with any one who loves 
him well enough to make this sacrifice for his sake. Re 
member that no one must know the rank of Ourson or of 
Violette. Passerose, on account of devotion, deserves to be 
the only one initiated into this mystery and she can always be 



201 



trusted. Adieu, queen; count always upon my protection. 
Here is a ring, which you must place upon your little finger. 
As long as you wear it there you will want for nothing." 

Waving her farewell with her hand, the fairy took the 
form of a lark and flew away singing merrily. 

Agnella and Passerose looked at each other. Agnella 
sighed, Passerose smiled. 

"Let us hide this precious casket, dear queen, and the 
clothing of Violette. I am going now to see what the fairy 
has prepared for Violette's dress to-morrow morning." 

She ran quickly and opened the wardrobe, and found it 
filled with clothing, linen and hosiery, all plain but good and 
comfortable. After having looked at all, counted all and 
approved all and after having assisted Agnella to undress, 
Passerose went to bed and was soon sound asleep. 




202 




THE DREAM 

IN the morning Ourson was the first awake, aroused by 
the lowing of the cow. He rubbed his eyes and looked 
about him and asked himself why he was in a stable. 
Then he recalled the events of the day before, sprang up from 
his bundle of hay and ran quickly to the fountain to wash his 
face. 

While he was washing, Passerose, who had like Ourson 
risen at a very early hour and had come out to milk the cow, 
left the house-door open. Ourson entered quietly and pro 
ceeded to the chamber of his mother, who was still sleeping. 
He drew back the curtains from Violette's bed and found her 
sleeping as peacefully as Agnella. 

Ourson watched her for a long time and was happy to 
see that she smiled in her dreams. Suddenly Violette's brow 
contracted and she uttered a cry of alarm, half raised her 
self in the bed, and throwing her little arms around Ourson's 
neck, she exclaimed : 



203 



"Ourson! good Ourson! save poor Violette! poor Vio- 
lette is in the water and a wicked toad is pulling Violette !" 

She now awoke, weeping bitterly, with all the symp 
toms of great alarm. She clasped Ourson tightly with her 
little arms; he tried in vain to reassure and control her but 
she still exclaimed : 

"Wicked toad! good Ourson! save Violette!" 

Agnella, who had awaked at her first cry, could not yet 
understand Violette's alarm but she succeeded at last in calm 
ing her and the child told her dream. 

"Violette was walking with Ourson but he did not give 
his hand to Violette nor look at her. A wicked toad came 
and pulled Violette into the water; she fell and called Our 
son; he came and saved Violette. She loves good Ourson," 
she added, in a tender voice; "will never forget him." 

Saying these words, Violette threw herself into his arms. 
He, no longer fearing the effect of his bear-skin, embraced 
her a thousand times and comforted and encouraged 
her. 

Agnella had no doubt that this dream was a warning 
sent by the fairy Drolette. She resolved to watch carefully 
over Violette and to make known to Ourson all that she could 
reveal to him without disobeying the fairy. 

When she had washed and dressed Violette, she called 
Ourson to breakfast. Passerose brought them a bowl of 
milk fresh from the cow, some good brown bread and a pot 



204 



$$ *| f $ *i* *i* *|r *i> > 

of butter. Violette, who was hungry, shouted for joy when 
she saw this good breakfast. 

"Violette loves good milk, good bread, good butter, 
loves everything here, with good Ourson and good Mamma 
Ourson!" 

"I am not called Mamma Ourson," said Agnella, laugh 
ing; "call me only Mamma." 

"Oh no, no! not mamma!" cried Violette, shaking her 
head sadly. "Mamma! mamma is lost! she was always 
sleeping, never walking, never taking care of poor Violette, 
never kissing little Violette, Mamma Ourson speaks, 
walks, kisses Violette and dresses her. I love Mamma Our 
son, oh, so much!" she said, seizing Agnella's hand and 
pressing it to her heart. 

Agnella replied by clasping her tenderly in her arms. 

Ourson was much moved his eyes were moist. Vio 
lette perceived this and passing her hand over his eyes, she 
said, entreatingly : 

"I pray you don't cry, Ourson; if you cry, Violette must 
cry too." 

"No, no, dear little girl, I will cry no more. Let us eat 
our breakfast and then we will take a walk." 

They breakfasted with good appetites. Violette 
clapped her hands frequently and exclaimed : 

"Oh how good it is ! I love it ! I am very glad !" 

After breakfast, Ourson and Violette went out to walk 



205 



while Agnella and Passerose attended to the house. Ourson 
played with Violette and gathered her flowers and strawber 
ries. She said to him : 

"We will always walk with each other. You must al 
ways play with Violette." 

"I cannot always play, little girl. I have to help 
mamma and Passerose to work." 

"What sort of work, Ourson?" 

"To sweep, scour, take care of the cow, cut the grass and 
bring wood and water." 

"Violette will work with Ourson." 

"You are too little, dear Violette, but still you can try." 

When they returned to the house, Ourson started on his 
various tasks. Violette followed him everywhere, she did 
her best and believed that she was helping him but she was 
really too small to be useful. After some days had passed 
away, she began to wash the cups and saucers, spread the 
cloth, fold the linen and wipe the table. She went to the 
milking with Passerose, helped to strain the milk and skim it 
and wash the marble flag-stones. She was never out of tem 
per, never disobedient and never answered impatiently or 
angrily. 

Ourson loved her more and more from day to day. Ag 
nella and Passerose were also very fond of her and the more 
so because they knew that she was Ourson's cousin. 

Violette loved them but Ourson most of all. How 



206 



could she help loving this good boy, who always forgot him 
self for her, who was constantly seeking to amuse and please 
her and who would indeed have been willing to die for his 
little friend? 

One day, when Passerose had taken Violette with her 
to market, Agnella related to Ourson the sad circumstances 
which had preceded his birth. She revealed to him the pos 
sibility of his getting rid of his hairy skin and receiving a 
smooth white skin in exchange if he could ever find any one 
who would voluntarily make this sacrifice from affection 
and gratitude. 

"Never," cried Ourson, "never will I propose or accept 
such a sacrifice. I will never consent to devote a being who 
loves me to that life of wretchedness which the vengeance of 
the fairy Furious has condemned me to endure; never, from 
a wish of mine, shall a heart capable of such a sacrifice suffer 
all that I have suffered and all that I still suffer from the fear 
and antipathy of men." 

Agnella argued in vain against this firm and noble re 
solve of Ourson. He declared that she must never again 
speak to him of this exchange, to which he would most as 
suredly never give his consent and that it must never be 
named to Violette or any other person who loved him. 

Agnella promised compliance, after a few weak argu 
ments. In reality she approved and admired his sentiments. 
She could not but hope, however, that the fairy Drolette 



207 



would recompense the generous and noble character of her 
little charge and, by some extraordinary exercise of her 
power, release him from his hairy skin. 




208 




THE TOAD AGAIN 

SOME years passed away in this peaceful manner with 
out the occurrence of any remarkable event. Our 
son and Violette both grew rapidly. Agnella 
thought no more of Violette's frightful dream; her vigilance 
had greatly relaxed and she often allowed her to walk alone 
or under the care of Ourson. 

Ourson was now fifteen years of age and he was tall and 
strong. No one could say whether he was handsome or 
homely for his long black hair covered his body and face 
entirely. He was good, generous and loving always 
ready to render a service, always contented and cheerful. 
Since the day when he had found Violette in the wood his 
melancholy had disappeared ; he was utterly indifferent to the 
general antipathy which he inspired and he no longer walked 
in uninhabited places but lived happily in the circle of the 
three beings whom he cherished and who loved him su 
premely. 



209 



4v ********* 

Violette was now ten years old and she had not lost a sin 
gle sweet charm of her beauty in growing up. Her eyes 
were softer and more angelic, her complexion fresher and 
purer, Her mouth more beautiful and arch in its expression. 
She had grown much in height was tall, light and graceful 
and her rich blonde hair, when unbound, fell to her feet and 
entirely enveloped her like a veil. Passerose had the care of 
this superb hair and Agnella never ceased to admire it. 

Violette had learned many things during those seven 
years. Agnella had taught her how to do housework. In 
other things, Ourson had been her teacher. He had taught 
her to read, write and keep accounts and he often read aloud 
to her while she was sewing. Instructive and amusing 
books were found in her room without any one knowing 
where they came from. There was also clothing and other 
necessary objects for Violette, Ourson, Agnella and Passe- 
rose. There was no longer any necessity for going to mar 
ket to sell or the neighboring village to buy. Through the 
agency of the ring on Agnella's little finger everything they 
wished for, or had need of, was speedily brought to them. 

One day when Ourson was walking with Violette she 
stumbled against a stone, fell and hurt her foot. Ourson 
was frightened when he saw his cherished Violette bleeding. 
He did not know what to do to relieve her ; he saw how much 
she suffered, for, notwithstanding all her efforts, she could 
not suppress the tears which escaped from her eyes but 



210 



"A h, ha! you are at last in my domain, little fool! " 



finally he remembered that a brook flowed not ten paces from 
them. 

"Dear Violette," he said, "lean upon me and we will en 
deavor to reach the rivulet the fresh water will relieve you." 

Violette tried to walk while Ourson supported her. He 
succeeded in seating her on the borders of the stream where 
she took off her shoe and bathed her delicate little foot in the 
fresh flowing water. 

"I will run to the house, dear Violette, and bring some 
linen to wrap up your foot. Wait for me, I shall not be 
long absent and take good care not to get nearer the stream 
for this little brook is deep and if you slip you might drown." 

When Ourson was out of sight Violette felt an uneasi 
ness which she attributed to the pain caused by her wound. 
An unaccountable repulsion made her feel inclined to with 
draw her foot from the water in which it was hanging. Be 
fore she decided to obey this strange impulse she saw the 
water troubled and the head of an enormous toad appear 
upon the surface. The great swollen angry eyes of the 
loathsome animal were fixed upon Violette, who since her 
dream had always had a dread of toads. The appearance 
of this hideous creature, its monstrous swollen body and 
menacing glance, froze her with such horror that she could 
neither move nor cry out. 

"Ah ! ha ! you are at last in my domain, little fool !" said 
the toad. "I am the fairy Furious, the enemy of your fam- 



211 



ily. I have been lying in wait for you a long time and should 
have had you before if my sister, the fairy Drolette, had 
not protected you and sent you a dream to warn you against 
me. Ourson whose hairy skin is a talisman of safety is 
now absent, my sister is on a journey and you are at last 



mine." 



Saying these words, she seized Violette's foot with her 
cold and shining paws and tried to draw her down into the 
water. Violette uttered the most piercing shrieks ; she strug 
gled and caught hold of the plants and shrubs growing on the 
borders of the stream. The first, alas, gave way, and Vio 
lette in despair seized hold of others. 

"Ourson! oh, Ourson! help! help! dear Ourson, save 
me, save your poor Violette! I am perishing! save me! 
help! help !" 

The fairy Furious, in the form of a toad, was about to 
carry her off. The last shrub had given way and Violette's 
last cry was hushed. 

The poor Violette disappeared under the water just as 
another cry, more despairing, more terrible, answered to her 
own. But, alas! her hair alone appeared above the water 
when Ourson reached the spot, breathless and panting with 
terror. He had heard Violette's cries and had turned back 
with the rapidity of lightning. 

Without a moment's hesitation he sprang into the water 
and seized Violette by her long hair but he felt instantly that 

I* $ <f <f <! 4* 4 4 4* 4* 



212 



e&s , K e&> e&e L e&> eji e& el e&* 

j5 v 3- jj -5 j > 5* S^ j5 > 

he was sinking with her. The fairy Furious was drawing 
them to the bottom of the stream. He knew he was sinking 
but he did not lose his self-possession. Instead of releasing 
Violette, he seized her both arms and invoked the fairy 
Drolette. When they reached the bottom, he gave one vig 
orous stroke with his heel which brought him again to the 
surface. Holding Violette securely with one arm, he swam 
sturdily with the other and through some supernatural force 
he reached the shore where he deposited the unconscious 
Violette. 

Her eyes were closed, her teeth tightly clenched and the 
pallor of death was on her face. Ourson threw himself on 
his knees by her side weeping bitterly. Brave Ourson, 
whom no dangers could intimidate, no privation, no suffer 
ing could master, now wept like a child. His sweet sister, 
so well beloved ! his only friend, his consolation, his happi 
ness was lying there motionless, lifeless ! Ourson's strength 
and courage had deserted him and he sank down without 
consciousness by the side of his beloved Violette. 

At this moment a lark flew rapidly up, approached Vio 
lette and Ourson, gave one stroke of her little beak to Ourson 
and another to Violette and disappeared. 

Ourson was not the only one who replied to the shrieks 
of Violette. Passerose had heard them and then the more 
terrible cry of Ourson which succeeded them. She ran to 
the house to apprise Agnella and they both ran rapidly to- 



213 



ward the stream from which the cries for help seemed to 
come. 

On approaching, they saw with surprise and alarm tbr 
Violette and Ourson were lying on the ground in a state of 
unconsciousness. Passerose placed her hand on Violette's 
heart and felt it still beating. Agnella ascertained at the 
same moment that Ourson was still living. She directed 
Passerose to take Violette home, undress her and put her to 
bed while she endeavored to restore consciousness to Ourson 
with salts and other restoratives before conducting him to the 
farm. Ourson was too tall and heavy to be carried while 
Violette, on the contrary, was light and it was easy for Pas 
serose to carry her to the house. When she arrived there, 
she was soon restored to animation. It was some moments 
before she was conscious. She was still agitated with a 
vague remembrance of terror but without knowing what had 
alarmed her. 

During this time the tender care of Agnella had re 
stored Ourson to life. He opened his eyes, gazed tenderly 
at his mother and threw himself weeping upon her 
neck. 

"Mother, dear mother !" he exclaimed, "my Violette, my 
beloved sister, has perished ! Let me die with her !" 

"Be composed, my son," replied Agnella; "Violette 
still lives. Passerose has carried her to the house and will 
bestow upon her all the attention she requires." 

fr * * + * * 4* * fc + 



214 



Ourson seemed to revive on hearing these words. He 
rose and wished to run to the farm but his second thought 
was consideration for his mother and he restrained his impa 
tience to suit her steps. On their way to the farm he told his 
mother all that he knew of the events which had almost cost 
Violette and himself their lives. He added that the slime 
from the mouth of the fairy Furious had left a strange dul- 
ness in his head. 

Agnella now told him how Passerose and herself had 
found them stretched unconscious upon the border of the 
stream. They soon arrived at the farm, and Ourson, still 
dripping, rushed into Violette's presence. 

On seeing him Violette remembered everything and she 
sprang towards him. She threw her arms around him and 
wept upon his bosom. Ourson also wept and Agnella and 
Passerose were both in tears. It was a concert of emotion, 
enough to soften all hearts. Passerose put an end to it by 
crying out : 

1 'Would not one say ha ! ha ! that we were the most 
ha! ha! unfortunate people ha! ha! in the universe! 
Look at our poor Ourson, wet as a water-reed, bathing him 
self in his own and Violette's tears. Courage, children, 
courage and happiness! See, we are all alive, thanks to 
Ourson." 

"Oh, yes!" interrupted Violette; "thanks to Ourson to 
my dear, my well-beloved Ourson. How shall I ever repay 



215 



.)-* 4 s 4* 4 4 4* 4 4* 4* *J* 

<*-WV*Jt--.4*J(*jj. 

him for all I owe him? How can I ever testify my pro 
found gratitude, my tender affection?" 

"By loving me always as you do now, my dear Violette, 
my sister. Ah ! if it has indeed been in my power to render 
you some little service, have you not changed my whole exist 
ence? Have you not made me gay and happy me who was 
so wretched and so miserable before? Are you not every 
day and every hour of the day the consolation and happiness 
of my life and of that of my excellent mother?" 

Violette was still weeping and she answered only by 
pressing more tenderly to her heart her Ourson, her adopted 
brother. 

"Dear son," said his mother, "you are dripping wet. 
Go and change your clothing. Violette has need of some 
hours' repose. We will meet again at dinner." 

Violette consented to go to bed but did not sleep for her 
heart was melting, overflowing with gratitude and tender 
ness. She sought in vain for some means of rewarding the 
devotion of Ourson. She could think of no other way than 
that of trying to become perfect so as to increase the happi 
ness of Ourson and Agnella. 




216 




VIOLETTE'S SACRIFICE 

WHEN the dinner hour came, Violette arose, 
dressed herself and entered the dining-room 
where Agnella and Passerose were awaiting 
her. Ourson was not there. 

"Ourson is not with you, mother," said Violette. 

"I have not seen him," said Agnella. 

"Nor I," said Passerose; "I will go and seek him." 

She entered his chamber and found him seated upon his 
bed, his head resting upon his arm. 

"Come, Ourson, come quick; we are waiting dinner for 
you." 

"I cannot come," said Ourson, in a weak voice; "I have 
a strange heaviness in my head." 

Passerose flew to inform Agnella and Violette of his ill 
ness and they were by his side in an instant. Ourson made 
an effort to rise in order to reassure them but he fell upon a 

c-2* f- .-! e&s e& e& e& e& e& e&9 



2IJ 



chair. Agnella found that he had a violent fever and she 
prevailed upon him to lie down. Violette absolutely refused 
to leave him. 

"I am the cause of his illness," she said, "and I will not 
leave his side till he is well. I shall die of anxiety if you 
force me to leave my dear brother." 

Agnella and Passerose also installed themselves near 
their dear invalid but alas! soon poor Ourson did not recog 
nise them. He was delirious! He called his mother and 
Violette every moment and continued to call them most im 
portunately and to complain of their absence, even while 
they were holding him in their arms. 

Agnella and Violette never left him day nor night dur 
ing all his sickness. The eighth day, Agnella, exhausted 
with fatigue, had fallen asleep near the poor sufferer's bed ; 
his difficult respiration and lifeless eye seemed to announce 
the near approach of death. Violette was on her knees, hold 
ing and pressing in her fine white hands the hairy hands of 
Ourson and covering them with tears and kisses. 

In the midst of this scene of desolation, a clear sweet 
song interrupted the mournful silence of the chamber of the 
dying boy. Violette started. This soft melody seemed to 
bring consolation and happiness; she raised her head and 
saw a lark perched upon the open shutter. 

" Violette f" said the lark. 

Violette trembled fearfully. 



218 



"Violette," repeated the little soft voice of the lark, "do 
you love Ourson?" 

"Do I love him? Ah ! love him I love him more than 
any one else more than I love myself." 

"Would you purchase his life at the price of your happi 
ness?" 

"Yes, gladly would I purchase life for him by the sacri 
fice of my happiness and of my own life." 

"Listen, then, Violette. I am the fairy Drolette. I 
love Ourson, I love you and I love your family. The venom 
which my sister the fairy Furious has blown upon the head 
of Ourson is sufficient to cause his death. Nevertheless, if 
you are sincere, if you really feel for Ourson the sentiments 
of gratitude and tenderness which you express, his life is in 
your hands. You are permitted to redeem it! But remem 
ber that you will soon be called upon to give the most terrible 
proof of your attachment and that if he lives you will pay 
for his existence by a most horrible sacrifice." 

"Oh, madam! quick, quick, tell me what I am to do to 
save my dear Ourson. Nothing will be terrible to me, all 
will be joy and happiness if you aid me to save my brother 
Ourson." 

"Well, my child, very well," replied the fairy. "Kiss his 
left ear three times, saying at each kiss : 'To thee! For thee! 
With thee!' Reflect again, Violette, before undertaking 
this cure. If you are not prepared for the most difficult sac- 

4 4 4> *i* 4* 4* *i ^4 4 4> 

JV><QL&9&949>3t4)t<St 



219 



rifices, the greatest misfortunes will overwhelm you and my 
sister Furious will be the mistress of your life." 

As her only reply, Violette crossed her hands upon her 
breast, cast upon the fairy, who was about to fly away, a look 
of tender gratitude, and, throwing herself upon Ourson, she 
kissed his left ear three times, saying, with an accent loving 
and penetrating : 

"To thee ! For thee ! With thee !" 

Scarcely had she said these words, when Ourson uttered 
a profound sigh, opened his eyes, perceived Violette and 
seizing her hands carried them to his lips, saying : 

"Violette, dear Violette! it seems to me I am awaking 
from a long dream. Tell me all that has passed. Why am 
I here? Why are you so pale and thin? Your cheeks are 
hollow, you seem to have grown old and your beautiful eyes 
are red with weeping." 

"Hush!" said Violette, "do not wake your mother, who 
is sleeping by your side. She has not slept for a long time 
and is much fatigued. You have been very ill, Ourson !" 

"And you, dear Violette, have you been resting?" 

Violette blushed and hesitated. 

"How could I sleep, dear Ourson, when I was the cause 
of all your sufferings?" 

Ourson was silent. He looked at her tenderly, kissed 
her hands and again asked her to tell him what had passed. 
She told him but she was too modest and too truly devoted 



220 



l^^> <$-' ^l 

to reveal to him the price that the fairy had affixed to his cure. 
Ourson, therefore, was far from knowing the truth. 

Ourson now felt himself restored to health, rose up, pro 
ceeded to his mother softly ?_nd awakened her by a kiss. Ag- 
nella thought he was delirious and called Passerose who was 
astonished when Violette told them that Ourson had been 
restored by the good fairy Drolette. 

After all this, Ourson and Violette loved each other 
more tenderly than ever and they never left each other unless 
their occupations forced them to be apart. 




221 




THE WILD BOAR 

TWO years passed. One day Ourson had been cut 
ting wood in the forest. Violette was to bring him 
his dinner and return with him in the evening. At 
midday Passerose hung on Violette's arm a basket contain 
ing wine, bread, a little pot of butter, some ham and some 
cherries. Violette set off eagerly. The morning had ap 
peared to her very long and she was impatient to be again 
with Ourson. To shorten the way she went through the for 
est which was composed of large trees under which she could 
easily walk. There were neither briars nor thorns in her 
way and a soft, thick moss covered the earth. 

Violette stepped lightly for she was happy to have found 
a shorter path to her dear Ourson. When she had passed 
over about half the distance she heard the noise of a heavy 
and precipitate step but too far off for her to imagine what 
it could be. After some moments of expectation she saw 



222 



an enormous wild boar coming towards her. He seemed 
greatly enraged, ploughed the ground with his tusks and 
rubbed the bark from the trees as he passed along. His 
heavy snorting and breathing were as distinctly heard as his 
step. Violette did not know where to fly or to hide herself. 
While she was hesitating the wild boar came in sight, saw 
her, and paused. His eyes were flaming, his whole body 
bristling, his tusks clashing together. He uttered a fero 
cious grunt, and sprang towards Violette. Happily she 
was near a tree whose branches were within her reach. She 
seized one, sprang up with it, and climbed from branch to 
branch, until she knew she was beyond his reach. Scarcely 
was she in safety when the savage animal precipitated him 
self with all his weight against the tree in which she had 
taken refuge. Furious at this obstacle, he commenced tear 
ing the bark from the tree and gave it such furious blows 
with his snout that Violette was terribly frightened. The 
concussion caused by these violent and repeated blows might 
at last cause the fall of the tree. She clung tightly and 
trembling to the tree. The wild boar at last weary of his use 
less attacks laid himself down at the foot of the tree casting 
from time to time a menacing look at Violette. 

Many hours passed in this painful situation, Violette 
trembling but holding on steadily and the wild boar, some 
times calm, sometimes in a terrible rage, springing against 
the tree and tearing it with his tusks. 



223 




Violette takes refuge from the wild boar 

Violette called on her brother, her dear Ourson, for 
help. At every new attempt of the wild boar she renewed 
her cries for aid but alas! Ourson was too far off and he 
could not hear. No one came to her aid. 

Discouragement and despair gained upon her; she be 
gan to feel hunger. She had thrown away the basket of pro 
visions when she sprang up the tree, the wild boar had 
trampled upon it, crushed it and eaten up everything it con 
tained. 

^ * fr * ! <' fr * + * 



224 



Whilst Violette was a prey to these terrors and vainly 
calling for help Ourson was amazed at not seeing her come 
with the dinner. 

"Can they have forgotten me?" he said to himself. 
"No, neither my mother nor Violette could have forgotten 
me. I could not have explained myself well. Without 
doubt they expected me back to dinner ; they are looking for 
me now and are perhaps uneasy." 

At this thought Ourson abandoned his work and com 
menced walking precipitately towards the house. He also 
wished to shorten the way and determined to cross the forest. 
Soon he thought he heard plaintive cries of distress. He 
paused he listened, his heart beat violently as he believed 
he recognized the voice of Violette. But, no he heard 
nothing now. He was about to resume his march when he 
heard a more distinct and piercing cry. 

Now he knew that it must be Violette, his Violette, who 
was in danger and calling upon Ourson for help. He ran 
in the direction from which the noise seemed to come. Ap 
proaching, he heard not only calls for help but roars and 
growls accompanied by ferocious cries and violent blows. 
Poor Ourson ran on with the speed of despair. At last he 
perceived the wild boar shaking with his snout the tree upon 
which Violette was still crouched in safety though pale and. 
overcome. 

This sight gave him new strength. He invoked the pro- 



225 



*f 4* <t* *i* *i>' <* 4* 4; 
tection of the good fairy Drolette and rushed upon the wild 
boar with his axe in his hand. The wild boar in his rage bel 
lowed furiously. He gnashed his formidable tusks one 
against the other and sprang towards Ourson, who dodged 
the attack and jumped to one side. The boar passed beyond 
him, paused a moment, then turned more furious than ever 
against Ourson who had now taken breath and with his axe 
raised in his hand awaited his enemy. 

The wild boar sprung on Ourson and received on his 
head a most violent blow but his bones were so hard he 
scarcely seemed to feel it. The violence of the attack over 
threw Ourson. The wild boar, seeing his enemy on the 
ground, did not give him time to rise but sprang upon him 
and with his tusks endeavored to tear him to pieces. 

Ourson now thought himself lost, indeed he thought no 
more of himself, he prayed only for Violette's safety. 

Whilst the wild boar was thus trampling and kicking 
his enemy, a jeering song was heard just above the combat 
ants. The wild boar shuddered, suddenly quitted Ourson, 
raised his head and saw a lark flying above them. The 
mocking song continued and the brute, uttering a cry of 
rage, lowered his head and withdrew slowly without once 
turning round. 

Violette at sight of Ourson's danger had fainted away 
but had rested supported by the branches of the tree. Our 
son, who thought himself torn to pieces, scarcely dared at- 



226 



tempt to move but feeling no pain he rose promptly to assist 
Violette. His heart was full of gratitude to the fairy Dro- 
lette to whom he attributed his rescue. At this moment the 
lark flew towards him, pecked his cheeks and whispered in 
his ear : 

"Ourson, it was the fairy Furious who sent this wild 
boar. I arrived in time to save you. Profit by the gratitude 
of Violette and change skins with her. She will consent 
joyfully." 

"Never!" cried Ourson. "I would rather be a bear all 
my life rather die. Poor Violette! I should indeed be 
base if I abused her tenderness towards me in this way." 

"Good-bye, obstinate one!" said the lark, flying away 
singing, "till we meet again. I shall come again and 
then " 

"The result will be the same," said Ourson. 

He then climbed the tree, took Violette in his arms, and 
descended. He laid her upon the soft green moss and 
bathed her forehead with a little wine he found in a broken 
bottle. 

In a few moments Violette was restored to conscious 
ness. She could scarcely believe her senses when she saw 
Ourson, living and unwounded, kneeling by her side and 
bathing her forehead and temples. 

"Ourson ! dear Ourson ! again you have saved my life. 
Tell me, oh ! tell me, what can I do to prove my gratitude?" 



227 



"Do not speak of gratitude, my cherished Violette. Do 
I not owe all my happiness to you? In saving your life I 
save my own and all I value." 

"All that you say, dear brother, is sweet and tender but 
I desire no less to render you some real and signal service, 
which will show all the gratitude and all the love with which 
my heart is filled." 

"Good! good! we shall see," said Ourson, laughing. 
"In the mean time let us think of preserving our lives. You 
have eaten nothing since morning, poor Violette for I see on 
the ground the remnants of the provisions you brought, as I 
suppose, for our dinner. It is late and the day is declining 
so we must hurry to return to the farm before dark." 

Violette now tried to rise but her terror and her long fast 
had weakened her so much that she fell to the ground. 

"I cannot stand, Ourson, I am too weak. What will be 
come of us?" 

Ourson was greatly embarrassed. Violette was no 
longer a child and had grown so large that he could not carry 
her so far, neither could he leave her exposed to the attacks 
of the ferocious beasts of the forest and he feared she could 
not do without food till the morning. In this perplexity he 
saw a packet fall at his feet. He raised it, opened it and 
found a pie, a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. Ourson 
knew that this bounty was from the hand of the fairy Drolette 
and with a heart full of gratitude he put the bottle to Vio- 



228 



Violette consented willingly to pass the night in the forest 



lette's lips. One mouthful of this good wine which was in 
deed unequalled restored a portion of Violette's strength. 
The pie and the bread completely restored her as well as 
Ourson who did full honor to the repast. While eating and 
drinking they conversed of their past terrors and present 
happiness. 

Now, however, it was night and neither Violette nor 
Ourson knew which way to turn their steps in order to reach 
the farm. They were in the midst of a wood. Violette was 
reclining against the tree which had been her refuge from 
the wild boar. They dared not quit this spot lest in the ob 
scurity they might not find as comfortable a one. 

"Well, dear Violette, do not be alarmed. It is warm, 
the weather is beautiful and you are reclining upon a bed 
of soft green moss. Let us pass the night where we are. I 
will cover you with my coat and I will lie at your feet to pro 
tect you from all danger and alarm. Mamma and Passerose 
will not be very anxious for they are ignorant of the dangers 
we have encountered and you know that we have often on a 
lovely evening like this reached home after they had retired." 

V iolette consented willingly to pass the night in the for 
est. In the first place, they could not do otherwise; sec 
ondly, she was never afraid with Ourson and always thought 
that what he decided to do was right. 

Ourson now arranged Violette's bed of moss in the best 
possible manner, took off his coat and in spite of her resist- 



229 



ance spread it over her. Then, after having seen Violette's 
eyes close and sleep take possession of all her senses he lay at 
her feet and soon slept most profoundly. 

Violette was the first awake in the morning. She 
walked around the tree which had sheltered them during the 
night. Ourson awaked and not seeing Violette he sprang 
up in an instant and called her name in a voice choking with 
terror. 

"I am here! I am here, dear brother!" she replied, run 
ning towards him ; "I am seeking the path to the farm. But 
what is the matter? you tremble !" 

"I thought you had been carried away by some wicked 
fairy, dear Violette, and I reproached myself for having 
fallen asleep. Let us go now quickly in order to reach home 
before mamma and Passerose are awake." 

Ourson knew the forest well. He soon found the path 
to the farm and they arrived some moments before Agnella 
and Passerose awoke. They agreed to conceal from Ag 
nella the dangers to which they had been exposed, to spare 
her anguish and disquietude for the future. Passerose alone 
was made the confidant of their dangerous adventures. 




230 




THE CONFLAGRATION 

OURSON now forbade Violette to go alone in the 
forest. She was no longer allowed to carry him 
his dinner so he always returned to the house at 
midday. Violette never left the farm without Ourson. 

Three years after the event in the forest, Ourson saw 
Violette arise in the morning pale and exhausted. She was 
seeking him. 

"Come, come," she said, drawing him along, "I have 
something to say something to relate Oh, come !" 

Ourson was much alarmed and followed her precipi 
tately. 

"What is it, dear Violette? For the love of Heaven, 
speak to me ! What can I do for you ?" 

"Nothing, nothing, dear Ourson; you can do nothing 
only listen to me. You remember the dream I had in my 
childhood, of the toad! the river! the danger! Well, last 



231 



night I had this same dream again. It is terrible ! terrible ! 
Ourson, dear Ourson, your life is menaced! If you die, I 
will die also!" 

"How ! By whom is my life threatened?" 

"Listen! I was sleeping and a toad still a toad al 
ways a toad came to me and said : 

" 'The moment approaches when your dear Ourson is to 
resume his natural skin. To you he is to be indebted for this 
change. I hate him! I hate you! You shall not make 
each other happy! Ourson shall perish and you cannot ac 
complish the sacrifice which in your folly you meditate. In 
a few days, yes, perhaps in a few hours I shall take a signal 
vengeance upon you both. Good-bye do you hear? till 
we meet again!' 

"I awoke, suppressed a cry which was about to issue 
from my lips and saw, as I saw on that day in which you 
saved me from the water, the hideous toad creeping upon the 
shutter and gazing at me menacingly. It disappeared, leav 
ing me more dead than alive. I arose dressed myself and 
came to find you my brother, my friend to warn you against 
the vengeance of the fairy Furious and to entreat you to seek 
the aid of the good fairy Drolette." 

Ourson listened in great alarm. He was not frightened 
by the fate which menaced himself he was agitated by the 
sacrifice which Furious announced and which he under 
stood but too well. The thought alone of his dear and lovely 



232 



Violette being muffled up in his hideous bear's skin through 
devotion to him made him tremble and he preferred death. 
Ourson's anguish was pictured in his countenance, and Vio 
lette, who was watching him closely, threw herself upon his 
neck and sobbed violently. 

"Alas! my brother, my dear brother, you will soon be 
torn from me. You , who do not know what it is to fear, now 
tremble. You who comfort me encourage me and sustain 
me in all my fears have now no word to utter to restore my 
failing courage. You who have combated the most terrible 
dangers now bow your head and are resigned to fate." 

"No, Violette, it is not fear which makes me tremble 
it is not fear which agitates me. It is a word which the fairy 
Furious has uttered, of which you do not comprehend the 
meaning but which I understand perfectly. The threat was 
addressed to you, my Violette. It is for you I tremble !" 

Violette divined from this that the moment of sacrifice 
had come, that she was about to be called upon to keep the 
promise she had made to the fairy Drolette. In place of 
trembling and shrinking, she felt the most lively joy. She 
could now at last make some return for the devotion, the in 
cessant watchful tenderness of her dear Ourson could in 
her turn be useful to him. She made no response to the 
fears expressed by Ourson but thanked him and spoke to him 
more tenderly than ever before, thinking that soon perhaps 
she would be separated from him by death. Ourson had the 



233 



same thought. They both fervently invoked the protection 
of the fairy Drolette. Ourson, indeed, called upon her in a 
loud voice but she did not respond to his appeal. 

The day passed away sadly. Neither Ourson nor Vio- 
lette spoke to Agnella on the subject of their disquiet for fear 
of aggravating her melancholy which had been constantly 
increasing as Ourson grew to manhood. 

"Already twenty years old!" thought she. "If he per 
sists in living in this solitude and seeing no one and in refus 
ing to change with Violette, who asks nothing better, I am 
certain, I am convinced, he will wear this bear-skin till his 
death." 

Agnella wept, often wept; but her tears brought her no 
remedy. 

The day Violette had her frightful dream, Agnella also 
had a dream. The fairy Drolette had appeared to her : 

"Courage, queen," she said to her, "in a few days Our 
son will lose his bear's skin and you can give him his true 
name of Prince Marvellous." 

Agnella had awaked full of hope and happiness. She 
redoubled her tenderness to Violette, believing that it was to 
her she would owe the happiness of her son. 

Every one retired at night with different feelings. Vio 
lette and Ourson, full of anxiety for the future which ap 
peared so threatening, Agnella's heart bounding with joy 
at that same future which appeared so near and so replete 



234 



with happiness, Passerose, astonished at the melancholy of 
the one and the joy of the other and ignorant of the cause 
of both. 

All slept, however. Violette after weeping profusely. 
Ourson after having invoked the fairy Drolette; Agnella 
after smiling and thinking of Ourson handsome and attrac- 
tive and Passerose after saying to herself a hundred times : 
"But what is the matter with them all to-day?" 

Scarcely an hour after all at the farm were asleep, Vio 
lette was aroused by the smell of fire and smoke. Agnella 
awoke at the same moment. 

"Mother," said Violette, "do you not smell some 
thing?" 

"The house is on fire," said Agnella. "Look what a 
light is round about us !" 

They sprang from their beds and ran to the parlor. 
The flames had already taken possession of it and of the 
neighboring chambers. 

"Ourson! Passerose!" cried Agnella. 

"Ourson! Ourson!" exclaimed Violette. 

Passerose sprang half clothed into the parlor. 

"We are lost, madam ! The flames are all through the 
house. The doors and windows are firmly closed it is im 
possible to open them." 

"My son! my son!" cried Agnella. 

"My brother! my brother!" exclaimed Violette. 



235 



They ran to the doors; all their efforts to open them or 
the windows were ineffectual. 

"Oh ! my terrible dream !" murmured Violette. "Dear 
Ourson, adieu for ever !" 

Ourson had also been awakened by the flames and 
smoke. He slept out of the farm-house, and near the stable. 
His first impulse was to run to the front of the house but not 
withstanding his extraordinary strength he could not open 
it. One would have thought that the door would break to 
pieces under his efforts. It was evidently held fast by the 
fairy Furious. 

Ourson sprang upon a ladder and passed across the 
flames into a granary through an open window, then de 
scended into the room where his mother and Violette were 
embracing, expecting instant death. Before they had time 
to recognize him he seized them in his arms and cried to Pas- 
serose to follow him. He ran along the granary and de 
scended the ladder with his mother in one arm and Violette 
in the other and followed by Passerose. The moment after 
they reached the ground in safety, the ladder and granary be 
came a prey to the flames. 

Ourson led Agnella and Violette some distance from the 
fire. Passerose was self-possessed: she had quite a large 
package of clothing which she had collected at the com 
mencement of the fire. Agnella and Violette had escaped 
barefooted and in their night robes, and the clothing brought 

4* 4* 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4* 

9 - V '~ Qt ' V < . V V~ .9 ~JP 



236 



by Passerose was thus very necessary to protect them from 
the cold. After having thanked Ourson for saving their 
lives at the peril of his own they complimented Passerose 
upon her forethought. 

"See," said Passerose, "the advantage of not losing one's 
senses. Whilst you two were only thinking of your Ourson, 
I made up this package of necessary things." 

"That is true, my good Passerose; but what purpose 
would your package have served, if my mother and Violette 
had perished in the flames?" 

"Oh, I knew very well that you would not allow them to 
be burned up alive. Is any one ever in danger when you 
are present? Is not this the third time you have saved Vio- 
lette's life?" 

Violette pressed Ourson's hands tenderly and carried 
them to her lips. Agnella embraced her and said : 

"Dear Violette, Ourson is happy in your tenderness 
which fully rewards him for all he has done for you. I feel 
assured that on your part you would be happy to sacrifice 
yourself for him if an occasion offered, that only too will 
ingly would you help him." 

Before Violette could speak, Ourson said with anima 
tion: 

"Mother, do not say anything to Violette of sacrificing 
herself for me. You know the thought alone makes me 
wretched." 



237 



In place of replying to Ourson, Agnella placed her 
hand on her forehead and cried out anxiously : 

"The casket, Passerose! the casket! Have you saved 
the casket?" 

"I forgot it, madam," said Passerose. 

The countenance of Agnella expressed such regret and 
anxiety, that Ourson questioned her as to this precious cas 
ket which seemed to trouble her so much. 

"The casket was a present of the fairy Drolette. She 
told me that the happiness of Violette was contained in it. It 
was in the wardrobe, at the foot of my bed. Alas ! by what 
fatality did I forget it?" 

She had scarcely uttered these words when the brave 
Ourson sprang towards the burning house and notwithstand 
ing the tears and supplications of Agnella, Violette and Pas 
serose, disappeared in the flames exclaiming: 

"You shall have the casket, mother, or I will perish with 
it!" 

A horrible silence followed this act of Ourson. Vio 
lette fell on her knees with her arms extended towards the 
burning house, Agnella with her hands clasped looked with 
straining eyes at the opening through which Ourson had 
entered while Passerose was motionless, hiding her face with 
her hands. Some moments passed thus and they appeared 
ages to the three women who were expecting a sentence of life 
or death. 



4 4 4* *i 4> 4* 4* 4 4* 4* 

XK 4>--*>-9'-0>>47i-*>-4^jj| 

Ourson did not reappear. The crackling of the burn 
ing wood, the flashing of the flames, increased in violence. 
Suddenly, a frightful noise made Violette and Agnella utter 
a cry of despair. 

The roof, covered with flames, had fallen in and Ourson 
was buried under the ruins crushed by the ruins, consumed 
by the fire. 

The silence of death succeeded this dreadful catastro 
phe. The flames diminished, then died away no sound 
now interrupted the despair of Agnella and Violette. 

Violette had fallen into the arms of Agnella and they 
sobbed thus a long time in silence. Passerose contemplated 
the smoking ruins and wept. Poor Ourson was buried there 
a victim of his courage and his devotion ! Agnella and Vio 
lette still wept bitterly; they appeared neither to hear nor 
understand what was passing around them. 

"Let us leave this place," said Passerose, at last. 

Agnella and Violette made no response. 

Passerose tried to lead Violette away. 

"Come," said she; "come, Violette, let us seek a shelter 
for the night the evening fortunately is mild." 

"What shelter do I want?" said Violette. "What is the 
evening to me or the morning? There are no more beauti 
ful days for me ! The sun will shine no more but to illumine 
my despair!" 

"But if we remain here weeping we shall die of hunger, 



239 



Violette, and in spite of the bitterest grief, we must think of 
the necessities of life." 

"Better to die of hunger than of grief! I will not 
leave this place where I saw my dear Ourson for the last 
time where he perished, a victim of his tenderness for 



us." 



Passerose shrugged her shoulders; she remembered that 
the stable had not been burned so she ran there with all speed, 
milked the cow, drank a cupful of milk and tried in vain to 
make Agnella and Violette do the same. 

Agnella rose and said to Violette in a solemn tone : 

"Your grief is just, my daughter. Never did a more 
noble or generous heart beat in a human form than Ourson's 
and he loved you more than he loved himself to spare your 
grief he sacrificed his happiness and his life." 

Agnella now recounted to Violette the scene which pre 
ceded Ourson's birth, the power Violette had to deliver him 
from his deformity by accepting it for herself and Ourson's 
constant prayer that Violette should never be informed of 
the possibility of such a sacrifice. 

It is easy to comprehend the feelings of loving tender 
ness and regret which rilled the heart of Violette after this 
confidence and she wept more bitterly than ever. 

"And now, my daughter," continued Agnella, "there 
remains one duty to fulfil, that is to give burial to my son. 
We must clear away these ruins and remove the ashes and 



240 



when we have found the remains of our well-beloved Our- 

son " 

Sobs interrupted her speech; she could say no more. 




241 




THE WELL 

AGNELLA, Violette and Passerose walked slowly 
towards the burned walls of the farmhouse. With 
the courage of despair they removed the smoking 
ruins. They worked diligently two days before this work 
was completed. No vestige of poor Ourson appeared and 
yet they had removed piece by piece, handful by handful, all 
that covered the site. On removing the last half-burned 
planks, Violette perceived an aperture, which she quickly 
enlarged. It was the orifice of a well. Her heart beat vio 
lently a vague hope inspired it. 

"Ourson !" cried she, with a faint voice. 
"Violette ! dear Violette ! I am here ; I am saved !" 
Violette could reply only by a smothered cry; she lost 
her consciousness and fell into the well which enclosed her 
dear Ourson. If the good fairy Drolette had not watched 
over her fall, she would have broken her head and limbs 

I* <ft <| <ft 4* 4* 4* 4* 4* 



242 



I* ! I !! ! !! i i 

99-9S9$SS 

against the sides of the well. But their kind protectress, who 
had already rendered them so many services, sustained her 
and she fell safely at Ourson's feet. 

Violette soon returned to consciousness. Their happi 
ness was too great to be believed in to be trusted. They did 
not cease to give the most tender assurances of affection. 
And now they were aroused from their ecstasy by the cries of 
Passerose, who, losing sight of Violette and seeking her 
amongst the ruins, discovered the open well. Peering into 
the darkness she saw Violette's white robe and she imagined 
that the poor girl had thrown herself intentionally into the 
well and there found the death she sought. Passerose 
screamed loud enough to destroy her lungs. Agnella came 
slowly forward to know the cause of this alarm. 

"Be silent, Passerose," cried Ourson in a loud voice; 
"you are frightening our mother. I am in the well with 
Violette ; we are happy and want for nothing." 

"Oh blessed news! blessed news!" cried Passerose; "I 
see them! I see them! Madam, madam, come quickly, 
quickly! They are here they are well they have need 
of nothing!" 

Agnella, pale, and half dead with emotion, listened to 
Passerose without comprehending her. She fell on her 
knees and had not strength to rise. But when she heard the 
voice of her dear Ourson calling to her : "Mother, mother, 
your poor son Ourson still lives!" she sprang toward the 

ifr 4 *i* * <i* 4f 4* $ *t* 



243 



well, and would have precipitated herself within, had not 
Passerose seized her by the arms and drawn her back sud 
denly. 

"For the love of Ourson, dear queen, do not throw your 
self into this hole; you will kill yourself! I will restore 
Ourson and Violette to you unharmed." 

Agnella, trembling with happiness, comprehended the 
wisdom of the counsel given by Passerose. She remained 
rooted to the spot but shuddering with agitation while Pas 
serose ran to seek a ladder. 

Passerose was absent a long time which was excusable 
as she was somewhat confused. First she seized a cord, then 
a pitchfork, then a chair. For an instant she thought of low 
ering the cow to the bottom of the well so that poor Ourson 
might have a drink of fresh warm milk. At last she found 
the ladder before her eyes, almost in her hands, but she had 
not seen it. 

While Passerose was seeking the ladder, Ourson and 
Violette talked incessantly of their present happiness and the 
despair and anguish they had endured. 

"I passed uninjured through the flames," said Ourson, 
"and sought groping about for the wardrobe of my mother. 
The smoke suffocated and blinded me. Then I felt myself 
raised by the hair and cast to the bottom of this well where 
you have come to join me, dear Violette. 

"In place of finding water, or even moisture here, I felt 



244 



at once a sweet, fresh air. A soft carpet was spread on the 
bottom : you see it is still here. There was from some source 
sufficient light around me. I found ample provisions at my 
side. Look at them, Violette, I have not touched them. A 
few drops of wine was all I could swallow. 

"The knowledge of your despair and that of my mother 
rendered me too unhappy and the fairy Drolette took pity 
on me. She appeared to me under your form, dear Violette, 
and I took her for you and sprang forward to seize you in 
my arms but I embraced only a vague form of air or vapor. 
I could see her but I could not touch her. 

: 'Ourson,' said the fairy, smiling sweetly upon me, 'I 
have assumed Violette's form to testify my friendship in the 
most agreeable way. Be comforted; you shall see her to 
morrow. She weeps bitterly, because she believes you to be 
dead but I will send her to you to-morrow. She will make 
you a visit at the bottom of this well. She will accompany 
you when you go forth from this tomb and you shall see your 
mother and the blue heavens and the dazzling sun which 
neither your mother nor Violette wish to look upon since 
your loss, but which appeared beautiful to them while you 
were with them. You will return once more to this well for 
it contains your happiness/ 

' 'My happiness !' I exclaimed to the fairy; 'when I have 
found my mother and my Violette I shall be in possession of 
all my happiness.' 

$$<$ ^ ^ <i* *$ 



245 



" 'Believe implicitly what I say. This well contains 
your happiness and that of Violette.' 

" 'Violette's happiness, madam, is to live with me and 
my mother.' ! 

"Ah! you replied well," interrupted Violette. "But 
what said the fairy?" 

" 'I know what I say,' she answered. 'In a few days 
something will be wanting to complete your happiness. 
You will find it here. We will meet again, Ourson. Re 
member what I have said.' 

" 'Yes, madam ; I hope it will be soon.' 

" When you see me again, my poor child, you will be 
scarcely content and then you will wish that you had never 
seen me. Silence and farewell/ 

"She flew away smiling sweetly, leaving behind her a 
delicious perfume and an atmosphere so soft and heavenly 
that it diffused a peaceful calm in my heart. I suffered no 
more I expected you." 

Violette on her part comprehended better than Ourson 
why the next return of the fairy would be painful to him. 
Since Agnella had revealed to her in confidence the nature of 
the sacrifice that she could impose upon herself, she was re 
solved to accomplish it, in spite of the opposition of Ourson. 
She thought only of the delight of giving an immense proof 
of her affection. This hope tempered her joy at having 
found him. 

* * * + + ^ * * * * 



246 



When Ourson had completed his narrative, they heard 
the shrill voice of Passerose crying out to them : 

"Look, look, my children! the ladder. I will put it 
down to you. Take care that it does not fall on your heads. 
You must have some provisions down there; send them up, 
if you please ; we are somewhat destitute above here. For 
two days I have only had a little milk to drink and a crust. 
Your mother and Violette have lived upon the air and their 
tears. Softly! softly! take care not to break the ladder. 
Madam ! madam ! here they are : here are Ourson's and Vio- 
lette's heads. Good ! Step up ! There you are !" 

Agnella, still pallid and trembling, was immovable as 
a statue. 

After having seen Violette in safety, Ourson sprang 
from the well and threw himself into his mother's arms. She 
covered him with tears and kisses and held him a long time 
clasped to her heart. After having thought him dead dur 
ing so many painful hours, it seemed a dream to her almost 
impossible to realize that she was holding him safe once 
more. Finally Passerose terminated this melting scene by 
seizing Ourson and saying to him : 

"Now it is my turn ! I am forgotten, forsooth, because 
I do not bathe myself in tears ; because I keep my head cool 
and preserve my strength. Was it not Passerose, after all, 
who got you out of that terrible hole? Speak the truth." 

"Yes, yes, my good Passerose ! You may believe that I 



247 



love you and indeed I thank you for drawing me out of it 
where, however, I was doing very well after my sweet Vio- 
lette came down to me." 

"But now I think of it," said Passerose, "tell me, Vio- 
lette, how did you get to the bottom of that well without kill 
ing yourself?" 

"I did not go down purposely. I fell and Ourson re 
ceived me in his arms." 

"All this is not very clear," said Passerose. "The fairy 
Drolette had something to do with it." 

"Yes, the good and amiable fairy," said Ourson. "She 
is always counteracting the cruelties of her wicked sister." 

While thus talking merrily, their stomachs gave indica 
tion that they were suffering for dinner. Ourson had left in 
the well the provisions furnished by the fairy. The rest of 
the happy family were still embracing and weeping over past 
remembrances but Passerose without saying a word de 
scended into the well and remounted with the provisions 
which she placed on a bundle of straw; she then placed 
around the table four other bundles of straw for seats. 

"Dinner is ready," said she ; "come and eat ; you all need 
food. The good queen and Violette will soon fall from ex 
haustion. Ourson has had a little wine but he has eaten 
nothing. Here is a pie, a ham, bread and wine. Long life 
to the good fairy!" 

Agnella, Violette and Ourson did not require to be told 



248 



a second time but placed themselves gayly at the table. 
Their appetites were good and the repast excellent. Hap 
piness illuminated every countenance; they talked, laughed, 
clasped each other's hands and were in paradise. 

When dinner was over, Passerose was surprised that the 
fairy Drolette had not provided for all their wants. 

"Look," said she, "the house is in ruins, we are desti 
tute of everything ! The stable is our only shelter, the straw 
our only bed and the provisions I brought up from the well 
our only food. Formerly everything was provided before 
we had the time to ask for if." 

Agnella looked suddenly at her hand the ring was no 
longer there ! They must now gain their bread by the sweat 
of their brows. Ourson and Violette seeing her air of con 
sternation demanded the cause of it. 

"Alas! my children, you will no doubt think me very 
ungrateful to feel disquieted about the future in the midst of 
our great happiness but I perceive that during the fire I have 
lost the ring given me by the good fairy and this ring would 
have furnished us with all the necessaries of life so long as it 
was upon my finger. Alas! I have it no longer. What 
shall we do?" 

"Dismiss all anxiety, dear mother," said Ourson. "Am 
I not tall and strong? I will seek for work and you can all 
live on my wages." 

"And I, too," said Violette, "can I not assist my good 



249 



mother and Passerose? In seeking work for yourself, Our- 
son, you can also find something for me to do." 

"I will go at once and seek work," said Ourson. 
"Adieu, mother. We will meet again, Violette." 

Kissing their hands, he set off with a light step. 

He had no presentiment, poor boy, of the reception 
which awaited him in the three houses where he sought em 
ployment. 




250 




THE FARM THE CASTLE THE FORGE 

OURSON walked more than three hours before he 
arrived at a large and beautiful farm where he 
hoped to obtain employment. He saw from a dis 
tance the farmer and his family seated before his front door 
taking their evening meal. 

He was but a short way off when one of the children, a 
little boy about ten years of age, perceived him. He sprang 
from his seat, uttered a cry of terror and fled into the house. 

A second child, a little girl eight years old, hearing the 
cry of her brother turned towards Ourson and commenced 
the most piercing shrieks. 

All the family now followed the movement of the chil 
dren and turned around. At the sight of Ourson the women 
cried out with terror and the children fled in wild alarm. 
The men seized sticks and pitchforks expecting to be at- 



251 



tacked by poor Ourson whom they took for some extraor 
dinary animal escaped from a menagerie. 

Ourson, seeing this movement of terror and preparation 
for attack, spoke to them hoping to dissipate their fears. 

"I am not a bear, as you seem to suppose, but a poor 
boy seeking work and who would be very glad if you should 
give him employment." 

The farmer was greatly amazed to hear a bear speak. 
He did not know whether to fly or to interrogate him further. 
He resolved, however, to speak. 

"Who are you and from whence do you come?" 

"I come from the Woodland Farm and I am the son of 
Agnella," Ourson replied. 

"Ah, then it was you who in your childhood went with 
your mother to market and frightened all our children to 
death. You have lived in the woods and done without our 
help. Why do you seek us now? Go away and live as you 
have lived heretofore." 

"Our farm-house is burned to the ground. I have to 
work now with my hands to support my mother and sister. 
For this reason, I pray you to give me work. I will do all 
you command me." 

"Do you suppose, boy, that I will take into my service a 
villainous animal like you who will frighten my wife and my 
servants to death and throw my children into convulsions? 
I am not quite such a fool, my boy; not quite such a fool. 



252 



Enough of this. Be off, and allow us to finish our dinner. 

"Master farmer, be merciful. Only try my work. 
Place me altogether by myself; then no one will fear me. I 
will conceal myself so well that your children shall not see 



me." 



"Will you be done talking, wicked bear? Go instantly ; 
if you don't you shall feel the teeth of my pitchfork." 

Poor Ourson bowed his head. Tears of humiliation 
and disappointment glittered in his eyes. He withdrew 
slowly, followed by the coarse laugh and shouts of the farm 
hands. 

When out of sight he no longer restrained his tears, but 
in all this shame and despair the thought that Violette could 
take upon herself his ugly covering did not enter his 
thoughts. 

Ourson walked on till he came in sight of a castle where 
he saw a crowd of men coming, going and laboring at every 
kind of work. Some were mowing, some raking, some 
currying horses, some sweeping, some watering plants, some 
sowing. 

"Here is a house where I shall certainly find work," said 
Ourson to himself. "I see neither women nor children and 
I think the men will not be afraid of me." 

Ourson drew near without being seen. He took off his 
hat and stood before a man who seemed to be the superin 
tendent. 



253 



* 4* * * f * 4> fr 4* 

"Sir" said he. 

The man looked up, recoiled a step when he saw Ourson 
and examined him with the greatest surprise. 

"Who are you and what do you want?" said he, in a 
rude voice. 

"Sir, I am the son of Agnella, mistress of the Woodland 
Farm." 

"Well ! and what has brought you here?" 

"Our house is burned down, sir. I am seeking work in 
order to support my mother and sister. I hope you will be 
good enough to give me employment." 

"Give employment to a bear?" 

"Sir, I have only the appearance of a bear. Under this 
rough outside, which is so repugnant to you, there beats a 
human heart a heart capable of gratitude and affection. 
You shall have no reason to complain either of my work or 
of my good will." 

Whilst Ourson spoke and the superintendent listened 
with a mocking air, a great noise was heard amongst the 
horses. They began to kick and prance and the grooms 
could scarcely hold them. Some of them indeed escaped 
and fled in terror to the woods. 

"It is the bear! It is the bear!" cried the grooms. "It 
has terrified the horses. Drive it off ! Chase it away ! We 
cannot control our horses." 

"Off with you !" cried the superintendent. 



254 



Ourson was stupefied by his misfortunes and was im 
movable. 

"Ha! you will not go," vociferated the man. "Wait a 
few moments, you hairy beast. I will give you something to 
run for. Halloa, men! bring out the dogs, and set them 
upon this animal. Hurry ! see him scampering off !" 

In fact Ourson, more dead than alive at this cruel treat 
ment, precipitately withdrew from the presence of these 
wicked and inhuman men. This second attempt had failed 
utterly but he would not allow himself to be discouraged. 

"It is still three or four hours before sunset so I have 
time to continue my search for work." 

He directed his steps towards a forge which was some 
distance from Woodland Farm. The master of the forge 
employed a great many workmen. He gave work to those 
who asked it, not in charity, but in view of his own interest. 
He was feared but he was not loved. He developed the 
riches of the country but no one thanked him for it because 
he alone profited by it. By his avidity and his opulence he 
ground down the poor workmen who could only find em 
ployment with this new Marquis of Carabas. 

Poor Ourson arrrived at the forge. The master was at 
the door, scolding some, threatening others and terrifying 
all. 

"Sir," said Ourson, drawing near, "have you any work 
to give me?" 



255 



"Certainly. What kind of work ?" 

He raised his head at these words for he had replied 
without looking at Ourson. When his eye fell upon him he 
did not finish his phrase ; his eyes flashed with rage and he 
stammered out : 

"What foolery is this? Are we in the midst of the 
Carnival, that a workman ventures upon such a ridiculous 
masquerade? Throw off your ugly bear's skin instantly or 
I will crisp your bristles for you in my fire." 

"This, sir, is no masquerade," replied Ourson, sadly; "it 
is, alas! my natural skin but if you will be humane enough 
to employ me you will see that my strength is equal to my 
goodwill." 

"I give work to you, you vile animal!" cried the master 
of the forge, foaming with rage : "I will put you into a sack 
and send you to a menagerie or I will throw you into a den 
with your brother bears. You will have work enough to 
defend yourself from their claws. Be off!" 

And brandishing his club he would have dealt Ourson r, 
heavy blow if the poor boy had not made a hasty retreat. 





THE SACRIFICE 

OURSON turned his steps homeward, discouraged 
and exhausted. He walked slowly and arrived at 
the farm late. Violette ran to meet him, took him 
by the hand, and without saying a word led him to his mother. 
There she fell on her knees and said : 

"My mother, I know what our well-beloved Ourson has 
suffered to-day. During his absence the fairy Furious has 
told me all and the good fairy Drolette has confirmed her 
story. My mother, when our Ourson was, as we believed, 
lost to us for ever and lost for my sake you revealed to me that 
which in his nobility and goodness he wished to conceal. I 
know that by changing skins with him I can restore to him 
his original beauty. Happy, a hundred times happy in hav 
ing this opportunity to recompense the tenderness and devo 
tion of my dearly-loved brother Ourson, I demand to make 
this exchange allowed by the fairy Drolette and I entreat her 
to complete the transfer immediately." 



257 



"Violette! Violette!" exclaimed Ourson, in great agita 
tion, "take back your words ! You do not know to what you 
engage yourself; you are ignorant of the life of anguish and 
misery unparalleled, the life of solitude and isolation to 
which you thus condemn yourself; you know not the un 
ceasing desolation you will feel at knowing that you are an 
object of fear to all mankind. Violette, Violette, in pity to 
me, withdraw your words!" 

"Dear Ourson," said Violette, calmly, but resolutely, 
"in making what you believe to be so great a sacrifice, I ac 
complish the dearest wish of my heart; I secure my own 
happiness; I satisfy an ardent and imperious desire to testify 
my tenderness and my gratitude. I esteem myself for do 
ing what I propose. I should despise myself if I left it un 
done." 

"Pause, Violette, for one instant longer, I beseech you ! 
Think of my grief, when I no longer see my beautiful Vio 
lette, when I think of you exposed to the railleries, the horror 
of men. Oh! Violette, do not condemn your poor Ourson 
to this anguish." 

The lovely face of Violette was veiled with sadness. 
The fear that Ourson would feel repugnance towards her 
made her heart tremble ; but this thought, which was wholly 
personal, was very fleeting it could not triumph over her 
devoted tenderness. Her only response was to throw herself 
in the arms of Agnella, and say : 



258 



"Mother, embrace your fair and pretty Violette for the 
last time." 

Whilst Agnella, Ourson and Passerose embraced her 
and looked lovingly upon her whilst Ourson, on his knees, 
supplicated her to leave him his bear-skin to which he had 
been accustomed for twenty years Violette called out again 
in a loud voice : 

"Fairy Drolette! Fairy Drolette! come and accept the 
price of the life and health of my dear Ourson." 

At this moment the fairy Drolette appeared in all her 
glory. She was seated in a massive chariot of gold, drawn 
by a hundred and fifty larks. She was clothed with a robe 
of butterflies' wings, of the most brilliant colors while from 
her shoulders fell a mantle of network of diamonds, which 
trailed ten feet behind her and it was so fine in texture that it 
was light as gauze. Her hair, glittering like tissue of gold, 
was ornamented by a crown of carbuncles more brilliant 
than the sun ; each of her slippers was carved from a single 
ruby and her beautiful face, soft, yet gay, breathed content 
ment. She fixed upon Violette a most affectionate regard. 

"You wish it, then, my daughter?" said she. 

"Madam," cried Ourson, falling at her feet, "deign to 
listen to me. You, who have loaded me with undeserved 
benefits you, who have inspired me with boundless grati 
tude you, good and just will you execute the mad wish of 
my dear Violette? Will you make my whole life wretched 



259 



by forcing me to accept this sacrifice? No, no, charmino- 

" t> 

and humane fairy, you could not, you will not do it !" 

Whilst Ourson was thus supplicating, the fairy gave 

Violette a light touch with her wand of pearl and Ourson 

another then said : 

"Let it be according to the wish of your heart, my 

daughter. Let it be contrary to your ardent desires, my 



son/ 



At the same moment, the face, arms and the whole body 
of the lovely young girl were covered with the long hair 
which Ourson had worn, and Ourson appeared with a white 
smooth skin, which set off his extreme beauty to advantage. 

Violette gazed at him with admiration, while he, his eyes 
cast down and full of tears, dared not look at his poor Vio 
lette, so horribly metamorphosed. At last he looked up, 
threw himself in her arms, and they wept together. 

Ourson was marvellously handsome. Violette was, as 
Ourson had been, without form, without beauty, but not 
ugly. When Violette raised her head and looked at Agnella, 
the latter extended her hands towards her, and said : 

"Thanks, my daughter, my noble, generous child." 

"Mother," said Violette, in low voice, "do you love me 
still?" 

"Do I love you, my cherished child? Yes, a hundred 
times, a thousand times more than ever before." 

"Violette," said Ourson, "never fear being ugly in our 



260 



eyes. To my eyes, you are a hundred times more beautiful 
than when clothed with all your loveliness. To me you are 
a sister a friend incomparable. You will always be the 
companion of my life, the ideal of my heart." 




261 




THE COMBAT 

VIOLETTE was about to reply, when a kind of 
roaring was heard in the air, and they saw descend 
a chariot made of crocodile's skin, drawn by fifty 
enormous toads. All the toads were hissing and blowing, 
and would have cast their infectious venom in every direc 
tion, if they had not been restrained by the power of the fairy 
Drolette. 

When the chariot reached the ground, the fairy Furious, 
a huge and heavy creature, issued from it. Her big eyes 
seemed bursting from their sockets, her large flat nose cov 
ered her wrinkled, withered cheeks, her monstrous mouth 
extended from ear to ear and when it was open a long pointed 
black tongue was seen licking her horrid teeth. 

She was not more than three feet in height and was very 
corpulent; her grizzly skin was gluey and cold, like a snail's 
and her thin red hair fell in locks of unequal length around 



262 



her throat, which was disfigured by a goitre. Her large, 
flat hands looked like the fins of a shark, her dress was made 
of snail's skins and her mantle of the skins of toads. 

She advanced towards Ourson (who shall hereafter 
be known by his true name of PRINCE MARVELLOUS) with a 
slow step. She paused in front of him and casting a furious 
glance upon the fairy Drolette and an eye of mocking 
triumph upon Violette, she folded her great cold arms and 
said in a sharp yet hoarse voice : 

"My sister has triumphed over me, Prince Marvellous. 
I have, however, one consolation: you will not be happy, 
because you have obtained your original beauty at the ex 
pense of that little fool, who is now frightful and repugnant 
and whom you will now never wish to approach. Yes ! yes ! 
weep, my handsome Ourson ! You will weep a long time, 
Violette, and you will regret bitterly, if you do not already 
regret, that you have given your beautiful skin to the prince 
Marvellous." 

"Never, madam, never! My only regret is that I did 
not know sooner what I could do to testify my gratitude." 

The fairy Drolette, whose countenance had assumed an 
unaccustomed expression of severity and irritation, now 
waved her wand and said : 

"Silence, sister! You shall not triumph long over the 
misfortunes of Violette. I will provide a remedy for those 
misfortunes : her generous devotion merits recompense." 



263 



4* 4* 4 4* 4* 4* 4* 4-* 4* 4* 

jy.J9.if-xf-xf-J9>vf-Ji]iif>if. 

"I defy you to come to her assistance under penalty of 
my wrath," said Furious. 

"I do not doubt your rage, sister, but I disdain to punish 
you for it," replied Drolette. 

"To punish me! Do you dare to threaten me?" said 
Furious. And hissing furiously, she called her chariot, 
mounted it, rose in the air and tried to launch upon Drolette 
all the venom of her toads in order to suffocate her. 

But Drolette knew her sister perfectly. Her faithful 
larks held the door of her chariot open and she sprang 
within. The larks rose in the air, hovered above the toads, 
and then lowered themselves rapidly upon them. The toads, 
in spite of their weight, escaped the blows by turning adroitly 
to one side. They however threw their venom on the larks 
which were nearest to them, who died instantly. 

Drolette detached them with the rapidity of a thunder 
bolt, rose again in the air and fell so adroitly on the toads, 
that the larks tore out their eyes with their claws, before 
Furious had time to come to the rescue of her army. 

The outcries of the toads and the hissing of the larks 
made a deafening noise; and the fairy Drolette called out to 
her friends, who were regarding the combat with terror : 

"Withdraw immediately and stop your ears!" 

Which was done instantly, in obedience to her com 
mand. 

The fairy Furious made one last effort. She guided her 



264 



blinded toads in such a way as to meet the larks face to face, 
and to dart their venom upon them. 

But Drolette rose higher and higher in the air and 
Furious found herself always under her sister's chariot. 

At last, unable to contain her rage, Furious cried out : 

"You are assisted by the queen of the fairies, an old fool 
whom I should gladly see in the lower regions!" 

Scarcely had she pronounced these words when her 
chariot fell heavily to the earth. The toads perished and the 
chariot disappeared. The fairy Furious only remained, in 
the form of an enormous toad. She wished to speak but she 
could only bellow and snuffle. She gazed at Drolette and 
her larks at Prince Marvellous, Violette and Agnella, in a 
transport of rage but her power was destroyed. 

The fairy Drolette lowered her chariot, descended to the 
earth and said : 

"The queen of the fairies has punished you for your 
audacity, sister. Repent, if you wish to obtain pardon." 

The only answer of Furious was to spit forth her 
poisonous venom, which happily reached no one. 

Drolette extended her wand towards her and said: 

"I command you to disappear and never to appear again 
to the prince Marvellous, to Violette or to their mother." 

Drolette had scarcely uttered these words when the toad 
disappeared; there remained no vestige of the chariot or of 
herself. 



265 



Drolette remained some time motionless. She passed 
her hand over her brow, as if to chase away a sad thought; 
then approaching Prince Marvellous, she said to him : 

"Prince, the title which I give you indicates your birth. 
You are the son of King Ferocious and the queen Aimee, 
concealed till now under the appearance of a modest farmer 
woman. The name of your father sufficiently indicates his 
character. Your mother having prevented him from killing 
his brother Indolent and his sister-in-law Nonchalante, be 
turned his rage against her. I was her protectress, and 
carried her off with her faithful Passerose in a cloud. 

"And you, Princess Violette, your birth is equal to that 
of Prince Marvellous. Your father and mother were that 
same King Indolent and Queen Nonchalante who, saved 
once by Queen Aimee, became at last the victims of King 
Ferocious and their own apathy. Since that time King 
Ferocious has been killed by his subjects who could no 
longer support his cruel yoke. 

"They expect you, prince, to reign over them. I have 
revealed to them your existence and I have promised them 
that you will take a wife worthy of you. You can select 
from the twelve princesses whom your father retained cap 
tive after having slain their parents. They are all wise 
and beautiful and each has a kingdom for her marriage 
portion." 

Surprise had kept Prince Marvellous silent. At the 



266 



last words of the fairy he turned towards Violette, and seeing 
that she was weeping, he said : 

"Why do you weep, my Violette? Do you fear that I 
will blush for you that I will not dare to testify before my 
whole court the tenderness with which you inspire me? 
That I will conceal what you have done for me or forget the 
bonds which attach me to you for ever? Can you believe 
that I will be ungrateful enough to seek any other affection 
than yours and fill your place by any of those princesses held 
captive by my father? No, dearest Violette! Until this 
time I have seen in you only a sister but from this mo 
ment you are the companion of my life, my sole friend, my 
wife!" 

"Your wife, dear brother? That is impossible ! How 
can you seat upon your throne a creature so repulsive as 
your poor Violette? How will you dare to brave the raillery 
of your subjects and of the neighboring kings? And how 
could I show my deformity in the midst of the festivals given 
on your return to your kingdom? No, no, my brother! 
Let me live near you, near to your mother, alone, unknown, 
covered with a veil. I cannot be your wife! No one shall 
blame you for having made so sad a choice." 

The prince insisted long and firmly. Violette could 
scarcely control her emotions but she resisted with as much 
resolution as devotion. Agnella said nothing. She would 
have been willing that her son should accept even this last 



267 



sacrifice from poor Violette and simply allow her to live near 
to them but hidden from the world. 

Passerose wept and in a low tone encouraged the prince 
in his determination. 

"Violette," said the prince, at last, "since you abso 
lutely refuse to ascend the throne with me, I abandon 
it and all royal power in order to live with you as before 
in solitude and happiness. Without your sweet presence, 
the sceptre would be a heavy burden; with you at my side, 
our little farm will be a paradise! Say, dear Violette, shall 
it be so?" 

u Yes, dear brother, you have triumphed; let us live as 
we have lived so many years : modest in our lives, happy in 
our affections." 

"Noble prince and generous princess," said the fairy, 
"you shall be recompensed for this rare and devoted tender 
ness. Prince, in the well to which I carried you during the 
fire, there is a priceless treasure for Violette and yourself. 
Descend into the well, seek for it, and when you have found 
it bring it to me. I will teach you its value." 

The prince did not wait to be told a second time ; he ran 
towards the well ; the ladder was still there and he descended. 
On arriving at the bottom, he saw nothing but the carpet 
which had been there from the first ; he searched the walls of 
the well, but saw no indication of treasure. Finally he 
raised the carpet, and perceived a black stone with a ring 



268 



attached; he raised the stone and discovered a casket which 
glittered like a constellation. 

"This must contain the treasure spoken of by the fairy," 
said he. 

The prince seized the casket; it was as light as a nut 
shell. He ascended the ladder hastily, holding the casket 
carefully in his arms. 

They were awaiting his return with impatience. He 
handed the casket to the fairy. Agnella exclaimed : 

"This is the same casket you confided to me, madam, 
and which I supposed I had lost in the fire." 

"It is the same," replied the fairy. "Here is the key; 
open it, prince." 

Prince Marvellous hastened to open it. But who can 
describe the general disappointment, when, in place of some 
rich treasure which they supposed it contained, they found 
only the bracelets which Violette had worn when her cousin 
found her sleeping in the wood, and a vial of perfumed oil ! 

The fairy looked from one to the other, and enjoyed 
their surprise and consternation. She took the bracelets and 
gave them to Violette. 

"This is my bridal present, my dear child; every one of 
these diamonds has the property of guarding from all evil 
influences the person who wears it, and of endowing its 
wearer with every virtue, enormous riches and resplendent 
beauty, with wit, intellect and all desirable happiness. Use 

* * * * ,*** $! 



269 



them for the children who will be born of your union with 
Prince Marvellous. 

"As to this vial of perfumed oil, it is the wedding gift of 
the prince your cousin. I know you love perfumes, this 
has peculiar virtues ; use it to-day. To-morrow I will return 
to seek you and carry you all to your kingdom," she said. 

"I renounce my kingdom, madam," said Ourson. 

"Who will govern your people?" said Agnella. 

"You, my mother, if you are willing," replied Ourson. 

The queen was about to refuse, when the fairy inter 
fered. 

"We will speak of this to-morrow," said she. "You, 
madam, I know, desire to accept the crown which you are 
about to refuse. I forbid you, however, to accept it before 
my return. And you, dear and amiable prince," added she, 
in a sweet voice, accompanied with an affectionate glance, 
"I forbid you to repeat this offer before my return. Adieu 
till to-morrow. When you are truly happy, my dear chil 
dren, think kindly of your friend the fairy Drolette." 

The fairy ascended her chariot. The larks flew like 
lightning and she soon disappeared, leaving behind her a de 
licious perfume. 




270 




THE RECOMPENSE 

PRINCE MARVELLOUS looked at Violette and 
sighed heavily; Violette gazed at the prince and 
smiled sweetly. 

"How handsome you are, my dear cousin! I am so 
happy to have it in my power to restore you your beauty. 
And now I will pour some of this perfumed oil upon my 
hands; since I cannot please your eye, I will at least embalm 
you," said she, laughing. 

She uncorked the vial, and entreated Marvellous to 
sprinkle some drops on her forehead and cheeks. The heart 
of the prince was too full for words. He took the vial and 
obeyed the order of his cousin. Their surprise and joy 
were indescribable on seeing that as soon as the oil touched 
Violence's forehead the hair disappeared and her skin re 
sumed its original purity and dazzling whiteness. 

The prince and Violette, on seeing the virtue of this 

t <i* 4 4* $ <i 4 4 4* 4< 

4V&4*-9495t9 



271 



wonderful oil, uttered loud cries of delight and ran towards 
the stable where they saw Agnella and Passerose. They 
called their attention to the happy effect of this perfumed oil 
given them by the fairy. Both joined in their happiness. 
The prince could scarcely believe the evidence of his senses. 
And now nothing could prevent his union with Violette, so 
good, so devoted, so tender, so lovely, so well constituted to 
make him supremely happy. 

The queen thought of the morrow of her return to her 
kingdom, which she had abandoned twenty years ago. She 
wished that she herself, that Violette, that her son the prince 
had clothing worthy of so great an occasion but, alas ! she 
had neither the time nor the means to procure them: they 
would therefore be compelled to wear their coarse clothing, 
and thus show themselves to their people. Violette and 
Marvellous laughed at this distress of their mother. 

"Do you not think, mamma," said Violette, "that our 
dear prince is sufficiently adorned with his rare beauty and 
that a rich and royal robe would not make him more beauti 
ful or more amiable?" 

"And do you not agree with me, my dear mother," said 
Marvellous, "in thinking that our dear Violette is lovely 
enough in the simplest clothing, that the lustre of her eyes 
surpasses the most brilliant diamonds, that the clear white 
ness of her teeth rivals successfully the rarest pearls, that the 
richness of her blonde hair surpasses a crown of brilliants?" 



272 



"Yes, yes, my children/' replied Agnella, "without 
doubt, you are both of you handsome and attractive but a rich 
dress spoils nothing, not even beauty. Jewels, embroidery 
and heavy brocades would detract nothing from your charms. 
And I who am old " 

"But not ugly, madam," interrupted Passerose, hastily. 
"You are still amiable and handsome, in spite of your little 
country cap, your skirts of coarse striped cloth, your waist of 
red camlet and your stomacher of simple cloth. Besides, 
when you return to your kingdom, you can buy every kind 
of dress your heart desires." 

The evening passed away gayly and there seemed no 
anxiety about the future. The fairy had provided their sup 
per ; they passed the night on the bundles of hay in the stable 
and as they were all fatigued by the emotions of the day they 
slept profoundly. The sun had been shining a long time 
and the fairy Drolette was with them, before they awoke. 

A soft "Hem! hem!" of the fairy aroused them. The 
prince was the first to open his eyes ; he threw himself on his 
knees before the fairy and thanked her with such warmth 
and gratitude that her heart was touched. 

Violette was on her knees by his side and joining her 
thanks to those of the prince. 

"I do not doubt your gratitude, dear children," said the 
fairy; "but I have much to do. I am expected in the king 
dom of the king Benin where I am to attend at the birth of 



the third son of the princess Blondine. This prince is to be 
the husband of your first daughter, Prince Marvellous, and 
I am resolved to endow him with all the qualities which will 
obtain for him the warm love of your daughter. And now I 
must conduct you to your kingdom; I will return in time to 
be present at your wedding. Queen," she continued, turn 
ing to Aimee, who was now just opening her eyes, "we are 
about to set out immediately for your son's kingdom. Are 
you and your faithful Passerose ready for the journey?" 

"Madam," replied the queen, with a slight embarrass 
ment, "we are ready to follow you but will you not blush for 
our dress, so little worthy of our rank?" 

"It is not I who will blush, queen," said the fairy, 
smiling, "but rather yourself who have this sensation of 
shame. But I will remedy this evil also." 

Saying this, she described a circle with her wand above 
the head of the queen, who in the same moment found herself 
clothed in a robe of gold brocade. Upon her head was a hat 
with splendid plumes, fastened with a band of superb 
diamonds and her boots were of velvet, spangled with gold. 

Aimee looked at her robe with an air of complaisance. 

"And Violette and my son the prince, will you not ex 
tend your goodness to them also?" 

"Violette and the prince have asked for nothing. I will 
do as they wish. Speak, Violette, do you desire to change 
your costume?" 



274 



"Madam," replied Violette, casting down her sweet eyes 
and blushing, "I have been sufficiently happy in this robe of 
simple cloth. In this costume my brother knew me and 
loved me. Permit me to continue to wear it as far as regard 
for my station allows and allow me to preserve it always in 
remembrance of the happy years of my childhood." 

The prince thanked Violette for these sweet words, and 
pressed her hand tenderly. 

The fairy kindly nodded her approval and called for her 
chariot, which was waiting a few steps from them. She en 
tered and placed the queen next herself, then the prince, 
Violette and Passerose. 

In less than an hour the larks had flown over the three 
thousand leagues which separated them from the kingdom of 
Prince Marvellous. All his court and all his subjects, ap 
prised beforehand by the fairy, expected him. The streets 
and the palaces were filled by the eager, happy crowd. 

When the chariot appeared in sight, the people uttered 
cries of joy which were redoubled when it drew up before the 
great entrance of the palace, when they saw descend Queen 
Aimee, a little older, no doubt, but still pretty and gracious, 
and the Prince Marvellous, whose natural beauty and grace 
were enhanced by the splendor of his clothing, glittering 
with gold and precious stones, which were also a present 
from the fairy. 

But the acclamations arose to frenzy when the prince, 



275 



taking Violette by the hand, presented her to the people. 

Her sweet, attractive countenance, her superb and ele 
gant form, were adorned with a dress with which the fairy 
had clothed her by one stroke of her wand. 

Her robe was of gold lace, while her waist, her arms and 
shoulders shone with innumerable larks formed of diamonds 
larger than humming-birds. On her graceful head she wore 
a crown of larks made of precious stones of all colors. Her 
countenance, soft but gay, her grace, her beauty, won the 
hearts of all. 

For a long time nothing was heard but shouts of "Long 
live King Marvellous! Long live Queen Violette!" The 
noise and tumult were so great that many persons became 
deaf. The good fairy, who desired that only joy and happi 
ness should prevail throughout the kingdom on this aus 
picious day, cured them instantly at the request of Violette. 

There was a magnificent feast spread for the court and 
the people. A million, three hundred and forty-six thou 
sand, eight hundred and twenty-two persons dined at the 
expense of the fairy and each guest was permitted to carry 
away enough for eight days. 

During the repast the fairy set off for the kingdom of 
King Benin, promising to return in time for the wedding of 
Marvellous and Violette. During the eight days of the 
fairy's absence Marvellous, who saw that his mother was a 
little sad at not being queen, entreated her earnestly to accept 



276 



Violette's kingdom and she consented to reign there on con 
dition that King Marvellous and Queen Violette would come 
every year and pass three months with her. 

Queen Aimee, before parting with her children, wished 
to witness their marriage. The fairy Drolette and many 
other fairies of her acquaintance and many genii were in 
vited to the marriage. They all received the most magnifi 
cent presents, and were so satisfied with the welcome given 
them by King Marvellous and Queen Violette that they 
graciously promised to return whenever they were invited. 

Two years afterwards they received an invitation to be 
present at the birth of the first child of King Marvellous. 
There came to Queen Violette a daughter, who, like her 
mother, was a marvel of goodness and beauty. 

The king and queen could not fulfil the promise they 
had made to Queen Aimee. One of the genii who had been 
invited to the wedding of Marvellous and Violette, found in 
Queen Aimee so much of goodness, sweetness, and beauty, 
that he loved her, and, visiting her several times in her new 
kingdom and being affectionately and graciously received 
by her, he carried her off one day in a whirlwind. Queen 
Aimee wept for a while but as she loved the genius she was 
not inconsolable; indeed, she promptly consented to wed 
him. The king of the genii granted to her as a wedding 
present the power of participating in all the privileges of her 
husband: never to die, never to grow old and the ability to 



277 



4* 4* . 4 4* 4* 4> 4 4 4 4 

Jr*x?-x*9-Xf-xf-x?-x>-5f.5* 

transport herself in the twinkling of an eye wherever she 
wished to go. Aimee used this power very often to visit her 
son and his children. 

King Marvellous and Queen Violette had eight sons 
and four daughters and they were all charming. They were 
happy, without doubt, for they loved each other tenderly and 
their grandmother, who, it was said spoiled them a little in 
duced their grandfather, the genius Bienveillant, to con 
tribute all in his power to their happiness. Consequently, 
they received many rich gifts. 

Passerose, who was warmly attached to Queen Aimee, 
had followed her into her new kingdom but when the genius 
carried her off in a whirlwind, Passerose, seeing herself for 
gotten and not being able to follow her mistress was so sad in 
the loneliness caused by the departure of Aimee, that she 
prayed the fairy Drolette to transport her to the kingdom of 
King Marvellous and Queen Violette. She remained with 
them and took care of their children to whom she often re 
counted the adventures of Ourson and Violette. She still 
remains, it is said, though the genius and his queen have 
made her many excuses for not having carried her off in the 
whirlwind. 

"No, no," Passerose replied to all these explanations; 
"let us remain as we are. You forgot me once you might 
forget me another time. Here, my dear Ourson and my 
sweet Violette never forget their old nurse. I love them and 



278 



I will remain with them. They loved me and they will take 
care of me." 

The farmer, the superintendent, and the master of the 
forge who had been so cruel to Ourson were severely 
punished by the fairy Drolette. 

The farmer was devoured by a bear, some hours after he 
had chased away Ourson. 

The superintendent was dismissed by his master for hav 
ing let loose the dogs, who escaped and never could be found. 
The same night he was bitten by a venomous serpent and ex 
pired some moments afterwards. 

The master of the forge having reprimanded his work 
men too brutally, they resolved upon vengeance: seized him 
and cast him into the blazing furnace where he perished 
miserably. 




279 




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